Monday, March 7, 2016

Peter Wodarz writes

Poem for My Friend Duane

This is a poem for my friend Duane.
He`s looking for material—a poem, some lyrics, art—for his Web site.
It`s a good site.
But, as you know, this is not a good poem.
Really, I am just throwing down a few lines.
Perhaps something will happen.
(Is the young lady at the bar looking at me? I think she is.)
But I don`t think anything is happening.
(Ah, she is looking at the door, behind me; the guy she has been waiting for
has just arrived.)
So there is nothing magical here.
Not even close.

Duane, I tried. I am sorry.
I will try again soon.

1 comment:

  1. Mark Halliday: Poetry Failure

    For example, I wrote my first poem in 1976 about being in the Vermont house
    after my mother’s death; she died the year before;
    she loved that house. My father said he kept having moments
    of thinking she must have just stepped outside for a minute
    to weed the garden or to walk just a little way
    along Prospect Street, for a few minutes only and now
    almost now she’d be coming back, we’d hear the screen door,
    Bev would be back and saying something casual about—

    about the cats, Daphne and Chloe, or about Mrs. Yamokofsky next door
    or about the pear tree, “or a colored stone she found.”
    That was the phrase that ended my poem in 1976:
    “or a colored stone she found.” The phrase rang slightly false
    but I wanted it—the “ound” and “one” sounds sounded profound
    and in 1976 “stone” was still a word guaranteed poetic.
    But did my mother ever pick up colorful stones?
    Wasn’t that more something I did fifteen years earlier?
    In the poem I was trying to turn my ironic mother into
    an ideal figure certified sweet like a child.

    But what could I make her say? Something very sly and wry?
    The poetry would be in her voice, the way of her voice being
    hers—voice of my mother—whether the words were about
    the cats or Mrs. Yamokofsky or potatoes to peel for mashing.
    Not your mother. My mother. Poetry of her
    saying in her Bev way “those potatoes” or “Mrs. Yamokovsky”
    or “Daphne’s gone down by the Black River
    but if we feed Chloe I’m sure she’ll be back.”
    And my father and Kimbo and me just going “Yeah” or “In a minute”
    because this was all just life.


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