Friday, December 11, 2015

Complaint

"Song, I am unused to you --
when you come
your voice is behind trees
calling another by my name.

So little of me moves out to you
that I cannot hold your weight --
I bury you in sleep or pour more wine,
or lost in another's music
I forget that you ever spoke.

If you come again, come with 
Elias! Elias! Elias!
if only once the summons were a roar,
a pillar of light, I wouldn't betray you."
       ( Complaint by Jim Harrison)

Today is Harrison's 78th birthday. He is one of my favorite authors and poets. To me, his poetry is visceral. If I could write poetry, I would want to write as he does. I read his poems over and over and find new and deeper meaning with each reading.

Death Again

"Let's not get romantic or dismal about death.
Indeed it's our most unique act along with birth.
We must think of it as cooking breakfast,
it's that ordinary. Break two eggs into a bowl
or break a bowl into two eggs. Slip into a coffin
after the fluids have been drained, or better yet,
slide into the fire. Of course it's a little hard
to accept your last kiss, your last drink,
your last meal about which the condemned
can be quite particular as if there could be
a cheeseburger sent by God. A few lovers
sweep by the inner eye, but it's mostly a placid
lake at dawn, mist rising, a solitary loon
call, and staring into the still, opaque water.
We'll know as children again all that we are
destined to know, that the water is cold
and deep, and the sun penetrates only so far."

You might recognize Harrison from his novella, Legends of the Fall or the movie made from it. I've read what few titles of his there are in the Creston library, but I see the Corning library has two that I haven't read in addition to one of his books of poetry.
Time to make a trip to Corning.

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