Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cloud-dappled Sky

I took my lunch out into the garden, The only rose still blooming is this one, 
the almost-too-vigorous climber Mermaid. A heritage rose catalog claims
that this was Monet's favorite rose, and the colors certainly resemble 
those bright yellows he used in the rooms where he displayed
his blue-and-white porcelains. This climbing beauty will be cut back severely soon
because the fence must be replaced. It is very vigorous, so I am almost
certain it will survive.
Notice the dried stamens and petals from a prior bloom
at the very bottom of the picture.

An Instruction to Myself

Shepherd the things of the world to the page
But the things themselves    Not just their names
which represent them which are their lawyers
The things of the world themselves   Rouse them
to us as once they roused you so much you cannot
forget or leave or ignore them    Give us this
fitfulness both burden and gift    This glint that
haunts us pushes us into dream    Into the great
prairies the green and gray seas the unbearable
deserts the boundless bird-sky of imagination
This song, this great song    Our hands our fingers
our muscles making translation of every-
thing into its most fragile vessel    Into word

Alberto Rios

Copper Canyon Press, 2015, on back cover

I was just able to get a copy of Alberto Rios/s new book. He has long been 
one of my favorite poets. And this poem was on the back cover. Notice carefully
the way he almost, but not quite, eschews punctuation. I only see one comma and
one hyphen. And it is an ARS POETICA! In a 13-line poem. 

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