Saturday, September 02, 2006

A poem (not by me)

Name the poet, get a gold star for the day (whee). Guess why I might have posted this particular poem, get two gold stars (double whee):

Eye and Tooth

My whole eye was sunset red,
the old cut cornea throbbed,
I saw things darkly,
as through an unwashed goldfish globe.

I lay all day on my bed.
I chain-smoked through the night,
learning to flinch
at the flash of the matchlight.

Outside, the summer rain,
a simmer of rot and renewal,
fell in pinpricks.
Even new life is fuel.

My eyes throb.
Nothing can dislodge
the house with my first tooth
noosed in a knot to the doorknob.

Nothing can dislodge
the triangular blotch
of rot on the red roof,
a cedar hedge, or the shade of a hedge.

No ease from the eye
of the sharp-shinned hawk in the birdbook there,
with reddish-brown buffalo hair
on its shanks, one asectic talon

clasping the abstract imperial sky.
It says:
an eye for an eye,
a tooth for a tooth.

No ease for the boy at the keyhole,
his telescope,
when the women's white bodies flashed
in the bathroom. Young, my eyes began to fail.

Nothing! No oil
for the eye, nothing to pour
on those waters or flames.
I am tired. Everyone's tired of my turmoil.


Anonymous said...

Robert Lowell. You posted it because (I can only guess) you're tired of turning around at every corner and receiving bad news and poor circumstance. You're tired of losing friends and relatives, and it casts your current state in shadow. You don't like seeing what you see in life. You're too sensitive for what's been happening the last few years. You wonder about your own station, and you wonder if you could have, should have been more. You feel you're more than you've been, and you wonder why you haven't found a way to express it. You haven't found your bliss, and you wonder how anybody could when people you care for suddenly go away or receive news like your father-in-law did. You miss the days of ignorance and youthful ineptitude, where hardships always seemed to happen elsewhere (even if they happened very close). Sometimes you wonder when you go to bed at night if it's really worth it to get up in the morning. What's the point? Where's the purpose? What's this shit all about?

In short, you posted the poem (I can only guess) because you're just like me. Where are the blessings we were promised? We don't know. It surely seems to suck.

It surely does.

Anonymous said...

You are correct on the poet - one gold star. And while it is not the reason I posted that particular poem (my reason was, in fact, much simpler and shallower), it is a remarkable analysis of both the poem and the state of my life right now. As such, it earns two gold stars in its own right.

Were I to guess, I would say this is one of my old friends from gaia I haven't heard from in far too long. If I'm wrong on that, please return anyway because you have an ability to see into a poem and a blogger that is nigh on remarkable. Methinks we could have interesting chats.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you posted it because Warren Zevon took the title of his 1993 live album "Learning to Flinch" from a line in the second stanza.

Anonymous said...

You understand my (lack of) depth ever so well...

Gold stars all around!