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How a new poem progresses...
When I posted Sunday Jazz, it was in the first stages of being. Since I have already taken the leap and shares something new and a little naked, I thought I would bring you along as I worked out what this piece may end up being.
It isn’t often a poem arrives in a final form-sometimes it can be close-like I believe this one to be-and sometimes it is only a line, or a stanza, sometimes only a single word. When a piece arrives more fully formed it isn’t accidental. Images have been floating around for perhaps months until a moment where the disparate snapshots coalesce into a body. Disjointed at first but eventually taking the shape of something I’d like to get to know more about. I have poems that have begun like a fireburst and then petered out before fully forming. I save all of those as often they will become images that work their way into other poems and make sense when that happens.
OK, so here is what Sunday Jazz is looking like today-feel free to weigh in on any changes…
Who do you say I am? He asks, I have lost my taste, For warring words, Who do you say I am, then? The softest jazz, On a Sunday morning, A sprinkler going, About its work, On the Sabbath, Hot, hot coffee, And the tiniest birds, Taking turns, for their daily baptisms, Of beauty, And stillness, Is that all? The quiet weeping, Of an old man, with his memories, The low, warm light Gilding prairie grasses Along the last hundred miles, Flashes of heat lightning, Silent across a night sky, I know, now, there Are no rugs in heaven, For you to catch your furniture on, reorganizing the world, And only that? No, you are, Much, much more, Afternoon barbeques, Popsicle colored kids, Running between drink balancing, Parents telling stories, Of great fish, garage sales, And last days, You are childbirth, And parent death, Cold cherries in summer, And compost heaps, Fresh turned ground, And dying trees, Is that all you think I am? No, you are, Infinite, Blankness beyond, The Boundaries, Of my imagination, The simultaneous firing, Of every neuron in a burst, Of light before that great silence, Of our unknowing, Then why do you not say this? If I were to speak of, All I know you to be, I would never leave this spot, For wonder, And despair, Of what we have made you to be.
I am still fiddling with this a bit. If you find the process of growing a poem of interest let me know-I would be happy to do this more often.
‘Til we meet again