Saturday, November 08, 2014

Crushed and Sparkling

This is the dainty Mrs. Wood Duck posing for me. 
It is often difficult, in all that flurry about cracked corn,
 to make portraits of individuals.
She doesn't dress showoffily like her mate, 
but there is a lot of color hiding beneath the wings and
I am always fascinated by the white oval around her eye
that reminds me of the makeup Elizabeth Taylor wore as Cleopatra.

Tonight's poem is by Mary Ruefle, whose work grows ever more interesting to me,
and whose poem I was extra-pleased to find in the 2014 Best American Poetry!


Everything that ever happened to me
is just hanging---crushed
and sparkling---in the air,
waiting to happen to you.
Everything that ever happened to me
happened to somebody else first.
I would give you an example
but they are all invisible.
Or off gallivanting around the globe.
Not here when I need them
now that I need them
if I ever did which I doubt.
Being particular has its problems.
In particular there is a rift through everything.
There is a rift running the length of Iceland
and so a rift runs through every family
and between families a feud.
It’s called a saga. Rifts and sagas
fill the air, and beautiful old women
sing of them, so the air is filled with
music and the smell of berries and apples
and shouting when a gun goes off
and crying in closed rooms.
Faces, who needs them?
Eating the blood of oranges
I in my alcove could use one.
Abbas and ammas!
come out of your huts, travel
halfway around the world,
inspect my secret bank account of joy!
My face is a jar of honey
you can look through,
you can see everything
is muted, so terribly muted,
who could ever speak of it,
sealed and held up for all?

Mary Ruefle
Best American Poetry, 2014 (at 57% mark of) Kindle Edition.

And this is Mrs. Mallard in an autumn portrait.

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