Sunday, July 18, 2010

poem: less pity

Make life more.
More what?




Should we give way?

Pander to the feeblest hopes?

Ask unto the deepest biddings

Or shout lame excuses

To the rampant gods?

I ask you, of course,

Out of mere courtesy,

Deeply sequestered as you are.

I could not forgive myself otherwise.
Johnny may deem himself

Farther along the paths
Of dissipation,
Woolgathering at the crossroads,

But forgiveness ever

Bears witness to fruitful gains.

I would forbear such

Intimacies were I of sturdier

Cloth. Instead, I web,

I weave, I condition my
Fall to the highest bidder.
Such are the injunctions
To make life more.

The head toddles

At such inhibitions.

Make life less,
And be done with it.

The killings at Plumstead

Will do no less.

Pity the weevil
In her nest.
imperils none,

Anticipates her end

With consciousness on the sly.

Prithee, wither.
Aim for horizon:

Tis the sky that blinds.



Blogger Teresa said...

But how can you bear to make life less? There are jagged rocks on the horizon. Don't you want to fly over them, at least, to avoid scraping knees and bruising pains? Is it not more marvelous to be Icarus and soar up to the sun? Who cares that you come crashing down in a flaming ball of fire? Is not swift and glorious death preferable to the fate of Daedalus, bereft and mourning from his safer, lesser altitude?

Make life less and suffer the slow asphixiation of torpid mundane days, quietly creeping in to strangle out all dreams, hopes, ideals, and aspirations till humanity is lost and all that remains are insects, large and small, crawling on the planet's face, lost in time, lost in space...

11:26 AM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Lots of the week here - less, more, fixed...are regrets a waste of time then? I like the idea of forgiveness bearing witness and woolgathering is my life's calling - I have worked at it for years and now can zoom through those crossroads without so much as a hiccup. Prithee? Is that you channeling Trollope?

I love those last two lines
"Aim for horizon
Tis the sky that blinds"

1:16 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa and Dee: Since your wonderful comments converge, I will respond as one, in a matter of speaking.

Teresa, I completely accept your countering arguments. There are, in truth, only slivers of "me" in this dirge, tiny slivers: they do lurk in conjunction with the weevil, but in large part this poem's sentiments were as troubling to me as they were to you. They were, however, a voice that wanted speaking, wanted to speak these particular words, so speak s/he did.

Dee, as fate would have it, this poem did indeed crawl, I think, out of my reading of Trollope's The Last Chronicle of Barset, via the struggle of, oddly enough, one Reverend Josiah "Crawl"-ey, who at the time of my reading was in most desperate straits. The clerics in AT often refer to the "waters closing over their heads" as an indication of their being in the direst of straits. As it turns out, since writing the poem, Mr. Crawley has taken a turn for the better in some sense, though at the same time he seems to have come to some peace with the inevitable waters.

I'm not sure what this poem really is trying to say about forgiveness, or why it mentions it in the first place. As for the last two lines which stand in counterpoint to Teresa's "glorious death," I think that most of that is being whispered up from the depths of the narrator, but there is a part of me who has needed to learn a dreaming to the horizon as opposed to sky-dreams, some of which I see as a grounding of vision with earth.

I'm glad this poem kicked up some stuff for us all, and glad you all are there for the listening.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

I've started four times to comment and erased to start over. I think that pieces of ourselves bubble up sometimes and then other times - it's external or a combination and by the way Teresa - passionate writing there!
Maybe you were just in a pissy mood Professor. Happens to the best of us :)

5:55 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

All I can say is that after more than two decades of crawling with my dreams being slowly strangled, I am glad to be in a position in which I can learn to fly again. There is a greater danger of crashing and burning, but at least there is no danger of ossifying in numbness. Ask any torturer, slow deaths are the most painful.

6:24 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Teresa: I completely hear you and completely agree with you. I think, in truth, Reverend Crawley agrees with you, too.

Dee and Teresa: Mr. Pissy's taking himself off (con familia) to the beach tomorrow till Wednesday. He needs to wet more than his diapers! :-D

6:32 PM  
Blogger Dee Martin said...

Oh gosh P - have a great time and please don't take me too seriously. Stay away from tarballs and wear your sunscreen.

6:36 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Dee: We're headed to South Padre, down Port Isabel way. Aren't we free of the tar down there? Sunscreen, for sure. Never too seriously, my dear. But that goes for myself, too, ya know.

6:42 PM  
Blogger jsd said...

what of dreams that others strangle for us, of opportunities denied...

...i didn't mind live life less, sometimes that's the only way to more...

3:37 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

jsd: Well now, sister, you've certainly lived out (and now beyond) the strangulation of dreams. An interesting take on the dust of this poem.

4:46 PM  

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