Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a colour slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room
And feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

-Billy Collins.

Love is like poetry. Its becoming cheap and commercialized. People want to know what love tastes like, and they want to know it now. They want fast answers and passionate kisses, as quick as the click of their mouse on a button in this internet age of instant self-gratification.

But some things are better left unsaid, left to fascinate the senses, left just the way they are, to gently bloom over time and to slowly wilt over time, rather than be ripped and chopped into pieces of meat, as the blood and the juice and the semen and the sweat slips and spills over and leaves nothing but dried skin.

When driven by an insatiable obsession to know and to obtain everything, everything becomes lost- everything, which is ironically but essentially, the sum of all the little light and trivial things. Its like a tap where the water is carelessly allowed to deplete in trickles, drop by drop, bit by bit, so you never know that the well is barren until you thirst for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit

As old medallions to the thumb

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown -

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

Leaving, as the moon releases
Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves,
Memory by memory the mind -

A poem should be motionless in time
As the moon climbs

A poem should be equal to:
Not true

For all the history of grief
An empty doorway and a maple leaf

For love
The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea -

A poem should not mean
But be"

- Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica