Saturday, February 12, 2011

18. "I am currently only / lying to three-and-a-half / persons"

(prelude)

I am at the public library picking out the books I will read next . My own books are not among these books of my friends and strangers in my own library and in my town or in the entire state of kansas but for maybe in the rented rooms of my poor intimates or my own rented rooms, so all the while, then, I am feeling woeful and inadequate and self-incriminatory squatting on my heels, squinting at the spines and wondering, even, if it is good for me who is uncivic and inadequate to write about the books of the poets all more civic or adequate than me. Soon enough a handsome enough man appears and hands me a sheet of paper and tells me I am beautiful and that I have a pretty smile, and I tell him I have a boyfriend and then I am left with a piece of paper asking me to go to “a movie today (or tomorrow)” and a ‘have a good day” and a stack of books of contemporary American poetry and my woefulness and self-incrimination and beauty.

It has taken me, I think, some time.  One of my jobs is online on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, and while it is never personal we are to pretend it is.  “Hello,” I type, “I’m Anne B. and :)” and to make myself feel better while I am pretending to be helpful and personal I am stealing $1 from my work or how many minutes off the boss-clock reading a public library

/review/

collection of poetry by Anselm Berrigan.  I read this book (Free Cell, City Lights, 2009)  in between cut/paste/emoticon/personalization and imagine that each poem (I think these are poems) titled “Have a good one” was written each day as he sat there for several seasons / or “maybe I can write all / poems I should have/ written tonight this year.” I imagine these to be the poems of “as he sat there” and “every day” as I sat here.  sit here.   sitting here still, every day. 

“What I know is / the birds sing back.”

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“Time / you ruinous agent of / possibility , will you ever / truly get your point across?”

If I read the blurbs I get messed up, because without the blurbs  I think “these are the poems of an unblinded life enthusiasm” and “these are the ordinary optimistic machinations of the eye and ear and soul.”

As if the soul actually still existed, and anyway,  soul is an imprecise word for what manifests here.  In this language, for example:

“I have imagined saying no so often and rarely ever fantasize a yes. /  One may own a strategy what contains spitting yes repeatedly as / a tactic leading to the fulfillment of a grand vision/ that will be the / unmistakable embodiment and subsequent catatonic astral eruption / of a no”  --

and  the poem goes on, “by artificial pond” and “by ecstasy of refusal” and “by right’s side dull discomfort growing daily” and “by above all’s fierce intellect,” and so also in this book, what I think is true:

how very much it wants to be made of poems of “no”.  How very much it is made of the poems of “yes” or “the/ world its own/ example, & I’m co-bringing life / into it.” *

In this book, the sheep mock the poet and the birds speak back.  

How is this not all prelude, never review?  Humans squat on our heels woeful and self-incriminating but I swear to god somehow beautiful-- “the icing of all personal bureaucracies” -- and all the while the poet here is neither below or above each human and wishes, I think, to get the right amount of drunk.

“You / can be culture/ but not / accused of it.”   It is like I have found the head that always nods the affirmative despite itself or for every "promise of hard won exuberance."


___
epilogue:  see this is my problem, to fantasize “yes” and always say “no” but hope for a similar astral eruption, my life of refusals somehow some day manifesting in the fourth of July

1 comment:

Hello! Thank you for reading about Books of Poetry. :)