Thursday, March 06, 2014

Lots of 'either/or' Polarities; Blue Ink

             Recovered from my mother's archives: things to think about.      

Rediscovering Walter Pavlich from the Laurel Review introduced me to his Swan Scythe Press, 2001, book The Spirit of Blue Ink. Then I went in search of inkish images in my Magic Flour Barrel. My mother was working to understand herself her whole long life. Above is one remnant of her process; it looks as if she worked on it over a period of time. It is also interesting for the variety of inks.

Here is the title poem from Pavlich's book. Pages 47-48. Sadly, he died unexpectedly in 2002.

The Spirit of Blue Ink

What, this morning, do I have
As I put out my welcome mat for hope?

Enough millet for six months to keep
My bargain with the finches---I fill,

They eat, and then they fly away.
A yard of Thoreau on the bookshelf,

In case I want a paragraph on sweetgrass,
Floating-heart, or pigweed. Or the dry

Field Guide to the Ocean, the sea
Still in print, with punctuation.

A gospel record, Christ in vinyl from
The Fifties, 33 1/2 hallellujahs

Per minute. A school bell across
The street teaches the lessons

Of time, velocity
And hard music. A mirror waiting . . .

A morning movie shot during
The previous war, smiles and cigarettes,

Bright songs and cocktails.
And if I'm lucky, I can approach

The spirit of blue ink, the glory
Of the hand that works the difficult

And the dead, that waits out the past,
Attached as it is, not to a wrist,

But the heart, The heart that is
The leaf, that blows its way to you.

--Walter Pavlich

I like the movement of the mind through this poem. I also like the little extra formality of the Initial Capitals on each line. I like reading and writing poems that meander through physical objects and into surprising alleyways and gentle, loving conclusions. Now I am thinking of working some more in this way.

When searching through scanned inky delights, I first chose the one below, the first page of a Christmas thank-you to a grandparent from a 9 year old. This was also recovered from my mother's archive. Upon closer reading, I see that the ink was then PURPLE. And then I found the other one. I have more. Scanner's are a true hoarder's delight, if you find little treasures like these. Sleep well.

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