The Only Question I Had for My Poetry Workshop About My Poem.

March 2, 2010 § 11 Comments

Should it be clearer that he’s chewing down his house?

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§ 11 Responses to The Only Question I Had for My Poetry Workshop About My Poem.

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    I’d love to see that poem

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    This is a poem about Tony Hoagland reading at Poison Pen – want to write one about Terrance too

    Tony reads at night beneath the trees

    Warmth is a choice you fight for
    as you stretch love
    through years and silence
    into the stars intimate spaces
    unrolling tender scrolls of risk that
    cling at your shoulder as ivy

    It’s not easy to free a crowd of tender statues
    from the fetters of forced stillness
    as their every uttered word conceals
    the voices of a nation of the drowned

    But you do it, gathering warmth like cotton candy
    from the spaces in the air then rubbing
    wind into our skin
    we are happy because as you make us laugh
    you give us a place to stand

    Behind your eyes there’s a column of fire
    burning from an eternity of snow
    the night is a casual chandelier of live oaks
    conjuring moonlight from the legs and arms of sculptural lovers

    In your kindness you let the moon
    paint your naked heart across our eyelids

    In the dark between your teeth
    your smile is deeper than an iron mine that
    grasps at stars which glitter from this page

    When poetry makes you transparent
    you float as an illuminated awning over breath
    of words
    your warmth is an act of will
    that smacks of salt and fate

    As you read
    The night comes close as a tent
    lit from without by campfires
    You stoke our laughter which flies
    in a string
    of Chinese lanterns through the trees

    You suggest we say out loud we will die
    and I unroll the words from tongue to mind
    tasting night and elation
    as I fall in mountainous wind-driven
    sheets of rain

    Time can only pass in such elation
    Time can only happen when
    the crushed glass of life’s sounds and edges
    gather and strive in singularity
    to build the heart’s cathedral
    of hands and wind and eyes

    When I think of you reading
    I see your high forehead and the quiet you mold like a snowball
    to keep in
    the rooms of your hands

    When I think of you reading I feel
    the constellation of words you left on my wrist
    like a stamp or a handshake
    beneath the thighs of leaves

    I know from the right throat words can change us
    grace us with transparent glassine re-seeing making
    our curling seashell selves their most
    viscerally perfectly alive

    When you speak you’re sculptor who molds us
    from the joy of voluptuous space
    while flames lick
    the vaulted arabesques of the clasped hands of branches

    It’s why we weep and are in weep
    why Rachmaninoff ‘s exile tears rained concertos
    why loss will learn to inhale its own emptiness
    why touch heals like penicillin
    to move is to love just as
    to speak is to conjure the sculptural
    quicksilver suspension bridge of our capacity to feel
    which rises from your poems and from this page
    in real and in all time.

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    Forgive me for posting here, but I am a poet dying of isolation

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    forgot the epigram in the poem —
    To move is to love
    –Frank O’Hara

  • hoostown says:

    Thanks for posting your poem, Amy. You should start a blog—it definitely decreases the isolation by a little bit, even though it’s probably just the same kind of trick as mirrors making rooms look bigger.

    Do we know each other? I was at that reading too.

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    We haven’t met – but I did see you at the reading – and I’ve seen you in the Roy Cullen building – I’m auditing a fiction class there

    You are very gifted

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    I have long blond hair and usually wear a red jacket – not young

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    I studied poetry with Kenneth Koch at Columbia – was a writing major there – was in the theater company that did NY School plays at the public theater – also thanks to Kenneth taught with Poets in the School before I received with my BA – which wasn’t supposed to happen – love your tweets about your third graders — it’s a joy

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    “One last thing before I go” is an awesome poem

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    By NY School I mean the New York School of writers

  • Amy Ponomarev says:

    Changed this stanza:

    Real time can only live through music,
    poems and
    such elation
    Real time only happens when
    the crushed glass of life’s ringing edges
    strives to the beat
    to build the heart’s cathedral
    of hands
    and wind and eyes

    riffing on the idea that linear time is an illusion except in great music, experiences or art

    “The most dramatic thing is the passage of time”
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    although the above doesn’t really relate directly

    arrrgh 😀

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