Monday, May 05, 2008

Philip Schultz: "Husband"

What could be more picturesque
than us eating lobster on the water,
the sun vanishing over the horizon,
willing, once again, to allow us almost
any satisfaction. William James said
marriage was overlooking, overlooking,
yes, but also overlapping: opinions,
histories, the truth of someone not you
sitting across the table seeing the you
you can't bear to, the face behind
the long fable in the mirror. Freud said
we're cured when we see ourselves
the way a stranger does in moments.
Am I the I she tried to save, still lopsided
with trying to be a little less or more,
escaping who I was a moment ago?
Here, now, us, sipping wine in this
candlelit pause, in the charm of the ever
casting sky, every gesture familiar,
painfully endearing, the I of me, the she
of her, the us we only know, alone together
all these years. Call it what you like,
happiness or failure, the discreet curl
of her bottom lip, the hesitant green
of her eyes, still lovely with surprise.

[Again, from PS's Failure.]

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Blogger San said...

Thanks for the introduction to Philip Schultz. Again, I bemoan the fact that I have lost touch with so much great poetry. What he takes on here--the scariness of being seen as we are by someone, the resultant cure (I'll give Freud that much) is rather profound.

3:33 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

San: I learned about 10 years ago that they ain't NO way to keep up with the poetry, especially if you also want to write your own. The best we can hope to do is stumble into it, or step in it, as the case may be. PS won the Pulitzer, my eye just happened to stumble over the headline as I'm checkin' me email. Just as easily could have missed it.

I still plan to read some online interviews, but so far I'm really drawn to where PS seems to be coming from (literally: his inheritance of failure): there is ache and shame and ascension all rolled into one, and it's clear that he's writing from perspectives I'm very familiar with on the inside, aging flesh being not the least of them.

Some students recently brought me a mini-mural they had done of about half a dozen of the faculty, a wonderfully whimsical artpiece, but what struck most of us was just how OLD they depicted us as being. We're like, "am I really that thick in the jowls," or "am I really just a face of wrinkles," etc. It was endearing, humbling, honest, and eye-opening all at the same time. PS certainly isn't just talking the outward body, and nor am I, but he's tapped right into where this time of life leads us.

No need to give Freud too much due: I never did, but he can't help himself, he steps into it occassionally, too. I'm sure PS in NYC has done his obligatory psychoanalytical years, particularly given the title of his book.

4:28 PM  

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