Friday, May 15, 2009

274 (grateful)


Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Psalm 42

Down from twilight into dark at noon,
through darker, down until the black
could not be more devoid of star
or sunlight, O my soul near freezing
in subphotic stillness past
the fragile strands of glowing jelly
radiant with tentacles to sting,
and bioluminescent lures of anglers,
down where water beading on the cold hatch
overhead has sheathed in dewdrops
the titanium, past dragonfish
with night-lights set into their heads
and flanks, past unlit cruisers,
blackcod, owl fish, eelpout, skate,
where spider crabs, arms long as mine,
on creamy prongs drift floodlit
over the pillow lava, here,
our craft has taken us where no one
could have come till now but corpses.

-- Brooks Haxton
from Uproar: Antiphonies to Psalms


Still reading a book of poems a day, still introducing myself to new work. This semester, my largest writing accomplishment was in the form of creative non-fiction, and it almost feels as if my poetry-self was dormant during this time. I knew the story I wanted to tell, and I knew I hadn't been successful in writing it in verse. This forced reading, this small project, has found my mind rumbling, wanting to write a poem I can love a little more than I hate. I feel as if I am on the cusp, and I am grateful. I hope it becomes something.

This weekend, I carry a friend's poetry manuscript with me to Missouri as well as that series of grandfather poems to beat about; we agreed to exchange, and I haven't yet upheld my end of the bargain. But on Monday, when I return from the middle of America, I will pass them into her in-box and be grateful for any direction she can give. I'm already thinking more critically than I could before--the process is so long!--and realizing its faults, where I need to work harder, such as: there needs to be a stronger arc; I need to consider what is needless repetition versus what is a motif; I need to build more poems considering Alzheimer's in variation; etc. I also have a book my grandmother gave me on my last visit on caring for someone suffering from Alzheimer's as well as a copy of a long email she sent my father when my grandfather was still alive--these stories will likely enter the ms. as well.

Also, post-spring semester: book reviews. Gobs of them. Piling up and sending out. And sending out poems to physical literary magazines. And putting up a new fence in our backyard. All in a summer's work.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Hi, Molly! Thanks for commenting on my blog (isn't Late Wife so lovely??? I have read it from start to finish several times--which I rarely do with poetry books--I have to skip) You are my *favorite* blogger--I have been following your blog for a long time. I love it. (I teach poetry *and* am learning my way with a Nikon, so it's so much fun for me!) Have a great summer!