Saturday, April 20, 2013

on the last day of this terrible week...

... I continue to revise. I'm going to have to turn ruthless now, start removing from my thesis poems that need months of work. I need to let them sit and simmer or molt or evaporate or decompose.

(The thesis is not the book.)

I'm going to give myself a break from revision but not from poetry. I've been reading other people's poems in the past half hour or so. Lucia Perillo is a favorite. I'm excited about allowing myself to imitate her after I graduate. My program faculty and directors are fond of compression, and Perillo seems to let herself expand as each poem opens up from one stanza to the next. Or maybe I'm just full of shit and have no idea what I'm reading when I read her.

Does it matter? Nah. I feel something when I read her work.

Love this poem, for instance:

Found Object

By Lucia Perillo
Somebody left this white T-shirt
like a hangman’s hood on the new parking meter—
the magic marks upon its back say: I QUIT METH 4-EVER.
A declaration to the sky, whose angels all wear seagull wings
swooping over this street with its torn scratch tickets
and Big Gulp cups dropped by the curb.

Extra large, it has been customized
with a pocketknife or a canine tooth
to rough the armholes where my boobs wobble out
as I roam these rooms lit by twilight’s bulb,
feeling half like Bette Davis in a wheelchair
and half like that Hell’s Angels kingpin with the tracheotomy.

Dear reader, do you know that guy?
I didn’t think so. If only we could all watch the same TV.
But no doubt you have seen the gulls flying,
and also the sinister bulked-up crows
carrying white clouds of hotdog buns in their beaks:
you can promise them you’ll straighten up, but they are such big cynics.

I should have told you My lotto #’s 2-11-19-23-36
is what’s written in front, beside the silk screen
for Listerine Cool Mint PocketPaks™—
which means you can’t hijack my name;
no, you have to go find your own, like a Hopi brave.
You might have to sit in a sweat lodge until you pass out

or eat a weird vine and it will not be pleasant. Your pulse
goes staccato like a Teletype machine— then blam
you’ll be transformed into your post-larval being.
Maybe swallowtail, maybe moth: trust me, I know
because once I was a baby blue convertible
but now I’m this black hot rod painted with flames.

Love her. I was especially tickled when I read, "baby blue convertible" because I'm rather close to someone who owns a baby blue convertible.

OK. Bye now.

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