Saturday, February 02, 2008

mo' po': mo' bob


I've been trying to think of things that sound like Ethel Merman
in a bread box. Ethel Merman in a bread box is of course
choice #1, my father's Jacobson lawn mower is next,
then there's a blender full of keys on frappé, a bag
of one hundred thousand molars dragged behind a car, and now
I wonder why I wonder this. I guess it's because
I've never been, or even tried to be, a Minotaur.
This refusal to embody the lives of others
makes me feel lonely, which brings to mind
large sounds coming from large bodies in large halls,
and this, if you look her up, is the definition
of Ethel Merman. I've known a few singers who've done well
locally, they have gigs, fans, they own microphones
and water their voices, one wears a red scarf
around his throat like it's a Christmas tree. They say
they feel abandoned when the night ends, when the crowd
breaks into particles, into dust, I've imagined this grief
as skin made of butterflies when the butterflies leave.
There is no business like show business, nothing like the voice
reaching out, nothing I can do except listen, and scream,
and every morning, when I put bread to my ear, I hear fields
coming closer, wind walking fingertip by fingertip
across the wheat, singing nothing, nothing but eat.

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Blogger San said...


From that great opening image (both visual and auditory) through the catlogue of others (again audio-visual)...then the slight turning towards wondering why the wondering...the return to a way to enter the present/universal, punctuated by a red a simply AMAZING ending--bread to ear, listening to wheat singing "eat."

BRAVO! Standing ovation!!!

4:38 PM  
Blogger San said...

P.S. Is that total Bob? Or is it Bob as translated by Paschal? Either way, it's remarkable!

4:46 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Sadly (for me, not for him), that is Total Bob; hence, the previous post's title: poem worth stealing. I first ran across BH a few years ago: he is pretty amazing: prior to his current gig at Virginia Tech, he ran an automotive die design business in Michigan. I believe he was degree-less when he got the VTech gig. I should give thought to the Top 5 or 10 writers I would most like to plagiarize. BH is in there, as with Messrs Powell and Hannah, maybe even HD, definitely Campbell McGrath: I'll think on the rest. Denise Levertov.

9:58 PM  

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