Saturday, March 24, 2007

Matching Black Candles

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction) Part 31

I keep thinking one of these guys is going to take me to Italy but then I ditz out and forget I need to renew my passport. I keep running into or seeing these creepy people lately and it seems like good things are happening to bad people, which isn’t so awful as happy bad people are a lot easier to be around than if they are miserable. If that makes any sense.

Anyway, what made sense to Christian and I was to get a couple of dressed black candles and think lovely happy all our dreams come true, or at least our bills getting paid thoughts and just for grins a carton of cigarettes for each of us and super perfect raspberries and crème fraiche to go with them and maybe a couple of warm figs too.

There is a wedding party drinking a toast in the rain outside my window here.

“The Strength of poetry as a vehicle of protest is that a well wrought poem involves us, blood and bone, heart and mind, in the experience providing and provoking the protest. A poem is that use of language and measure which reenacts in the reader what has already happened to the poet…It is this capacity to embody (incarnate) protest that gives the poet the advantage over others who decry the times in editorials, letters, placards, the brightest satirical prose…The poem does not simply urge; “Think on these things.” It pushes us into the fray.
Arnold Kenseth from Poems of Protest Old and New

People seem to think I can just whip out a perfect and passionate and compelling antiwar poem. I think Reverend Kenseth would be a little more understanding of what it takes, what it really takes to write a poem strong enough to hold the weight of its subject matter.

Here is a a poem he wrote…
How They Came From the Blue Snows

How they came from the blue snows year after year
Into the stranger's arbor, under the rain;
Hearing the sandhill cranes at night, marching again
To the next continent with the great spear
Of starlight flying before them as they go
Into the africas, americas, exploring
Laughter, and an oracle always on the winds.

Now do we track the tiger in the mind.
Now do the swift deer leap the nerve and bone;
It snows in the heart. We penetrate
A dry and sunless continent of stone;
And the flight of birds from the summer hollow
We do not understand, we do not follow.

..and Here is his obit, “Arnold M. Kenseth, March 21, 2003.
"Among the clergy, I'm known as a poet," Arnold Kenseth wrote in 1989, "and among the poets I'm clergy. But by being in New England, being where there are birds and trees and meadows, there's a very natural marriage between religion and poetry." After graduating from Bates with a degree in English, he landed a plum job at Harvard as curator of the Harvard College Library Poetry Room. There, he cared for the Edwin Arlington Robinson collection and the Amy Lowell collection. Intending to write on the relationship between poetry and religion, he met the Rev. Samuel H. Miller, who later became dean of Harvard Divinity School. Miller got him interested in the ministry, and he received a bachelor's of sacred theology in 1944 and a master's in English in 1950 from Harvard. He was minister of South Congregational Church in Amherst, Mass., for 40 years. He also taught at UMass-Amherst. Along with Robert Frost, e.e. cummings, Archibald MacLeish, Wallace Stevens, Richard Wilbur and John Ciardi '38, he was audiotaped for the program New England Anthology by the National Assn. of Educational Broadcasters. The Rev. Kenseth received first prize in the American Scholar Poetry Awards for his poem, "Death and Resurrection." His poetry was published in all the major poetry journals and many major magazines. He published nine books of his poems, the last in 2002. He twice read at Bates Reunions. At the second Arnold Kenseth Poetry Series started at his church after he retired, Richard Eberhart was the guest poet. For his 50th Bates Reunion, he wrote, "I rejoice in Van Gogh, Henry Adams, Dostoyevski, Chopin, J.S. Bach, Saint Francis, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Isaiah, the Gospel of Luke, and Mother Teresa - the light bearers." In 1965, he was charged by the National Committee on Worship of the United Church of Christ to rewrite and revise church liturgies. He translated Pablo Neruda's first book of poetry, Crepuscalario. He was a founder and board member of the Hampshire Committee on Civil Rights 1950-70, and chair of the UNICEF drive 1952-77 in Amherst.

He probably wouldn’t approve of the black candle thing but is so many other ways I think I would have liked this guy very much.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Back Soon

We'll be back soon. In the meantime if you'd like to look at some fabulous bird photos you can link here to Icelandic Falcons.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Endlessly Self-Referential

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction) Part 30

I wonder if Charlie Rose knows how naked his ambition to influence the worlds of diplomacy and the arts appears?

I remember when Harold Pinter gave his Nobel speech a few years ago and used it as a platform to talk about Iraq, that Christian and I talked about how unseemly and over the top, how hyper-dramatic it was.

It doesn’t seem so now.

Not in light of all that is going on, and now Charlie Rose seems lame when he argues back and one wishes Pinter could have been quicker on the uptake when he was confronted with the inevitable World Trade Center argument about why we are there. 9/11 has nothing to do with why we are in Iraq.

Afghanistan; yes, of course. Bad as it was, and it was horrid, it seems like 9/11 is a story we tell ourselves to make us feel better about why we are in Iraq. Sort of like how we tell ourselves there are angels to explain the powerful forces at work in our lives that watch over us.

We could use their help right about now, I fear.

Harold Pinter writes poetry. That is why I brought him up, not to get myself on some endless “watch” list because I expressed and opinion about the war.

He says he has always written poetry and many folks say in referring to him that he is our most poetic, successful contemporary playwright. I’ll buy that.

I need to get some of his poetry from the library and see what I think. He says he writes poems down on a pad he keeps in a pocket sitting in transitional places like a bar.

He is a gifted enough writer that I believe he can do that… unlike the hordes of ambitious half-dead animated by greed want-to-be writers that drag themselves to their day jobs full of toxic resentment that their perfect talent has not been discovered yet… sitting in bars and coffee houses and staring out bus windows as I write this.

All that matters is the work.

Speaking of the library, I ordered Gaining: The Truth about Life After Eating Disorders by Aimee Liu the other day. (She is part Chinese like me.)

I’ve only written one poem about my anorexia, and thee are probably many more in there. Heck, even Christian has written about it on an imaginary footing.

I don’t like writing about myself… I’d rather write about falcons, and watch the birds flow intact out of my hands.