Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mugged By Poetry by Dorianne Laux & What Are Poems by Marion

Mugged By Poetry
By Dorianne Laux

—for Tony Hoagland who sent me a handmade chapbook made from old postcards called OMIGOD POETRY with a whale breaching off the coast of New Jersey and seven of his favorite poems by various authors typed up, taped on, and tied together with a broken shoelace.

Reading a good one makes me love the one who wrote it,
as well as the animal or element or planet or person
the poet wrote the poem for. I end up like I always do,
flat on my back like a drunk in the grass, loving the world.
Like right now, I'm reading a poem called "Summer"
by John Ashbery whose poems I never much cared for,
and suddenly, in the dead of winter, "There is that sound
like the wind/Forgetting in the branches that means
something/Nobody can translate..." I fall in love
with that line, can actually hear it (not the line
but the wind) and it's summer again and I forget
I don't like John Ashbery poems. So I light a cigarette
and read another by Zbigniew Herbert, a poet
I've always admired but haven't read enough of, called
"To Marcus Aurelius" that begins "Good night Marcus
put out the light/and shut the book For overhead/is raised
a gold alarm of stars..." First of all I suddenly love
anyone with the name Zbigniew. Second of all I love
anyone who speaks in all sincerity to the dead
and by doing so brings that personage back to life,
plunging a hand through the past to flip off the light.
The astral physics of it just floors me. Third of all
is that "gold alarm of stars..." By now I'm a goner,
and even though I have to get up tomorrow at 6 am
I forge ahead and read "God's Justice" by Anne Carson,
another whose poems I'm not overly fond of
but don't actively disdain. I keep reading one line
over and over, hovering above it like a bird on a wire
spying on the dragonfly with "turquoise dots all down its back
like Lauren Bacall". Like Lauren Bacall!! Well hell,
I could do this all night. I could be in love like this
for the rest of my life, with everything in the expanding
universe and whatever else might be beyond it
that we can't grind a lens big enough to see. I light up
another smoke, maybe the one that will kill me,
and go outside to listen to the moon scalding the iced trees.
What, I ask you, will become of me?


I wish I'd written "Mugged by Poetry" because it perfectly describes how I feel when reading poetry.  I'll read one poem that will lead to another and well, it goes on all night.  I highly recommend all of Dorianne Laux's books.  Her poetry is awesome.

I'm here for poetry.  I blog because I want people to love poetry and to give it a chance, to read it, write it, breathe it, drink it, buy it and support other poets. 

What Are Poems?
By Marion

Poems are things. 
Poems are living, breathing things with bloody, beating hearts. 
Poems are salvation, damnation, birth, death, loss, life, rebirth, love, and hate. 
Poems are endlessly ticking clocks, broken watches and treacherous friends.
Poems are why I'm alive, in this moment.
Poems take you out of a painful existence and give you peace and hope. 
Poems transcend and uplift.
Poems are fiercely burning desire and ashes of unrequited love.
Poems save us from ourselves, then destroy us with their power.
Poems gently hold our angst and carelessly hold our joy.
Poems are razor sharp knives and cloud-soft sighs.
Poems are destructive storm clouds and bright blue skies.
Poems are guns and bullets and bombs.
Poems are windows and doors and cracks in the walls.

Poems make love to us, then leave us, never bothering to call.
Poems take us out of ourselves and show us who we really are.
Poems tear our broken hearts out, then tenderly stitch them back together.
Poems are our teachers, friends, counselors, gurus, saviors.
Poems are.

I wish you all Love, Blessings & Poetry,


"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anaïs Nin


"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop."  ~Vita Sackville-West


"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." ~Anton Chekhov



Kelly said...

You've certainly helped win me over to poetry and I thank you for that!

It's still chilly out there, but the sunshine is wonderful!!

Karen said...

And I love both of these, Marion, poet friend of my heart. I am happiest reading poetry and happiest writing poetry. It holds the essence of life -- and death and all things before and after and in-between. Thank you for expressing this and for bringing new poems into my life.

Marion said...

You're going to make me love poetry, aren't you??!! There are so many lines in your poem I absolutely love.It is awesome...thank you! Perhaps I will understand poetry yet.

Wine and Words said...

Some people have called my style of writing poetry and I always beg it off...thinking poetry has short lines and equally weighted paragraphs. I see it as geometrics I suppose. But if it's true, if people see what I write as poetry, then I suppose you rubbed it onto me. Your love of it infusing those you love.

Marion said...

I've crowned myself the Pied Piper of Poetry. LOL! Kelly, I know you were a hard one to win over, but here you are, a poetry reader. Blessings!

Karen, a fellow traveler on this psychedelic poetry bus. I love your writing, too, and appreciate your kind words. Blessings!

Marion, if we're going to share the same name, well, you'll just have to convert to poetry! LOL! No, really, I'm glad you enjoyed what you read. I hope you come back often. Blessings!

My Annie, poetry is what it is. If you like to write yours in paragraphs, well, that's your style. Much or most of your writing is poetry or prose to my ears. You do have a poet's heart, this I know. Blessings!

Phoenix said...

"I could be in love like this for the rest of my life."

Ah, but isn't that what good poems make us do? Fall in love in an instant and carry around that love for the rest of our lives?

Also, "poems are guns and bullets and bombs."


Rick said...

Marion- to me, poems are questions to questions without answers. A deeper layer to emotions. I love any poem that says,light up another smoke! you kidd'n me? pass me a camel!
Love you dear friend. Who knew you and I would come so far together and still be nowhere. WTF? must be a poem

Margaret Pangert said...

I love your love affair with poetry, Marion! Here's one I wrote today, a cinquain style I learned frm Dan of A Mindful Heart:
"Ice cold,
But at the church
Worn sandals in the sand,
Succulents and cacti, spare and
Love, me xx

Marion said...

Phoenix, YES, indeed. Blessins!

Margaret, I love your cinquain. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

Rick, yes, poems are all that, too. I already wrote a Nowhere poem, remember? Yes, we'll be friends forever and ever. It's the Stevie Nicks factor that keeps me coming back. LOL! Just kidding. You know what it is. Love & Blessings!!

By Marion

Been trying hard to get there
all my life it seems---
first as daughter, then wife & mother
even in my dreams.

I made it there as lover;
I'm almost there as wife---
Arrived at a milepost yesterday,
been travelin' all my life.

Cried enough bitter tears
to fill a broken glass;
I've conquered hopes and pointless fears
I knew they'd never last.

I'm running hard in daytime
I seldom sleep at night---
Can't wait to get to Nowhere
The city limit's in sight---


Woman in a Window said...

Marion, MARION! Yours! See? This is where it feeds me! yours oh sweet yours! Yes. Love the line about it never calling in the morning. And too, the first, I laughed because I share that harumph about poetry and poets and then when I read, even those I don't wish to let in, they get in. Poems have fingers. They pry open windows and doors. They pour themselves in. They are dollar store liquid goo in a fart jar. The frickers.

You speak directly to my heart, my dear woman. So, today I will write. You've niggled me.

(I'll bring by my anti-poetry poem I told you about and put it here, in your comments for you.)


Marion said...

Oh, Erin. You've made me cry. Yes, bring your anti-poetry to me and I'll hold it like a newborn baby and croon lullabys to it and feed it words of my own. You nourish me. You keep me keeping on. You make me want to write when the whole fucking fucked-up world tries to keep me silent and without pencil or pen or hope. YOU are love and hope and friendship. The day I met you was the best day of my poet-heart's life. To me, Erin and Poetry are one and the same. God bless you and keep your precious poet-heart safe. I love you. Blessings!!!

lakeviewer said...

I came in from Erin's blogs. I think I'll flit here often. This is the kind of garden one can dream in.

Marion said...

Welcome, Lakeviewer. Stop by anytime and stay a spell. Blessings!