Thursday, October 3, 2013

365 Poems: My head hurts

Day 276

Yours would too, if you were reading Gertrude Stein and Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven:

(lines from) A Long Dress (Stein)
What is the current that makes machinery, that makes it crackle, what is the current that presents a long line and a necessary waist. What is this current.

(lines from) A Dozen Cocktails Please (Freytag-Loringhoven)
What's the dread 
Matter with the up-to-date-American- 
Bum insufficient for the 
Should-be wellgroomed upsy!

So now maybe your head hurts too, thanks for joining me. But you're also free: free from history, free from semantics, free from lexicon, free from ordinary thinking. Free to create new ways to write poems.

On my walk tonight, though, it wasn't Stein nor Freytag-Loringhoven who was in my head; rather, Robert Frost. I was looking for a gold leaf; I found a red, instead, but the light -- the early autumn slanty light of the late afternoon -- it was gold. 

Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -

As I walked, I contemplated: What's the difference between poetic genius, and being bat-shit crazy? When you have these three poets in your head at the same time, I know which one you feel like. But my head felt really big, big enough for all three and maybe William Carlos Williams too. And also Ray. Always Ray.

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