Thursday, November 22, 2007

sendin' me excitations...

At, the "Top" "500" "poets": Neruda at 1, "Shel Silverstein" at 5, Herbert Nehrlich (you remember Herb, with his 2734 poems in the databank) at 202, just before hometown girl Naomi Shihab Nye. Henry and his puppeteer are AWOL, nowhere to be found. Henry & JB send this one in, anyway, for your consideration.

Dream Song 123: Dapples my floor the eastern sun, my house faces north

Dapples my floor the eastern sun, my house faces north,
I have nothing to say except that it dapples my floor
and it would dapple me
if I lay on that floor, as-well-forthwith
I have done, trying well to mount a thought
not carelessly

in times forgotten, except by the New York Times
which can't forget. There is always the morgue.
There are men in the morgue.
These men have access. Sleepless, in position,
they dream the past forever
Colossal in the dawn comes the second light

we do all die, in the floor, in the morgue
and we must die forever, c'est la mort
a heady brilliance
the ultimate gloire
post-mach, probably in underwear
as we met each other once.

This, for lagniappe; I don't think A. R. made the the Top 500 cut either. Must needs have room for Wilson, Brian and McKuen, Rod. Let this one hit you anyway, hymn of hymns:

The City Limits
by A. R. Ammons

When you consider the radiance, that it does not withhold
itself but pours its abundance without selection into every
nook and cranny not overhung or hidden; when you consider

that birds' bones make no awful noise against the light but
lie low in the light as in a high testimony; when you consider
the radiance, that it will look into the guiltiest

swervings of the weaving heart and bear itself upon them,
not flinching into disguise or darkening; when you consider
the abundance of such resource as illuminates the glow-blue

bodies and gold-skeined wings of flies swarming the dumped
guts of a natural slaughter or the coil of shit and in no
way winces from its storms of generosity; when you consider

that air or vacuum, snow or shale, squid or wolf, rose or lichen,
each is accepted into as much light as it will take, then
the heart moves roomier, the man stands and looks about, the

leaf does not increase itself above the grass, and the dark
work of the deepest cells is of a tune with May bushes
and fear lit by the breadth of such calmly turns to praise.

(of the deepest cells...)

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Blogger San said...


I wasn't familiar with that particular Ammons. I never read an Ammons collection, just a piece here and there in an anthology. "The City Limits" is amazing!

I've probably read the Berryman. I own the entire collection of the Dream Songs, but I don't remember that one. Not sure why--dreaming the past forever is a pretty memorable concept.

5:34 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

I first found the Ammons poem about 10 years ago, when - I was going to say, when I first started writing poetry "in earnest," but I think it would be more accurate to say, when I first stopped writing poetry in earnest, and just started writing. I went through a bout of memorizing poems, and this was the first. I love the unholy holiness of it.

11:33 PM  
Blogger San said...

I've posted one of those tag things on my blog, Paschal. Questions about this 'n that, and I've tagged you, my friend. Provision of answers is requested.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

Ok, so I was reading around and found your earlier comment on these poems to San. Unholy holiness! I had to go read it. You're right! It does indeed have that quality. Thank you for sharing this.

12:35 PM  

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