mercredi 29 avril 2009

Murphy Mirrors

I casually mentioned to my poet friend Andrea Grenadier that I was considering writing a poem called "favorite murphy's law" and she liked the theme. I invited her to try her hand with me and she happily agreed. We gave ourselves a week, without further discussion about what we would write. Our poems show our unique thoughts in the moment and such differing styles! I even rediscovered a style I have not used for many years and her poem is, as she said, "cheeky" and full of playful irony! It was fun and challenging, and we do so hope you will enjoy them.

Fave Murphy's Law

by Laura Tattoo

"Whatever it is you want to do, you will have to do
something else first."

If I have to do something else first,
let it be to rise before dawn and
hear the bird's first chanted song
throated for his love's delight
yet waits its echo evermore

If I have to do something else first
let it be lilacs drenched in dew
and gathered in armfuls to overflow
so that I swoon and follow long
summer's footfall on the earth

If I need to do something else first
let it be dreamspun netherworlds
cloaked in all their mortal humors
veins run cold and when I wake
I suffer first to know myself

Over and over we contrive to
wend our way toward cherished goals
but interrupts these heart's desires
the universe of ice and fire
earth and air dilettantes of old
and we but newborns of this world
must cede control and laugh and bow
to better knowledge than our own

If I have to do something else first
let it be to deeper thoughts
silence-laden, lamp-lit tomes
from whence I draw my sustenance
and slip into someone's dusty clothes

If I have to do something else first
let it be water to quench my thirst
by drinking in your mouth, my languid muse
to seal upon my tongue your heart
and lift the veil on your subtle arts

For I am nothing without thy love
to make me flouted melody
that birds turn into song and poet
his words to fire on like varnish
does not strive for art apparent
but molds his clay with modesty
and kisses of an immortal goddess
to guarantee her poet's progress

If I must tend to something first
then let it be wind and rain again
let it be morning and even's birth
or the promise of mortality when
I fall upon dark poverty of word

I cannot count the stars but know
that I have not sufficient years
but last until a state of grace
descends upon my earth-bound soul
and all but beauty is erased
the promised glow to recollect
that landscape of thy ancient song
of lilac, poets and songs of birds

My Favorite Murphy’s Law

by Andrea Grenadier

“Whatever you want to do, you will have to do
something else first.”

Before I learned this, I had to learn that.
And before that, there was nothing.
There may have been some elegant dust,
some maunderings, an intimation of substance.
But the something else was a lifetime:
to know the words was nothing. To feel them,
to bend over and pick up
these tiny Nabatean stones
to use them in a sentence, was
And now, this knowledge,
for what it came to be worth
leads to discontent. For it is not
everyone else’s knowledge.
I would, just once, love
to be able to breezily say, “Gordon Bunshaft,”
and have others nod knowingly.
“Ah,” one would say, “Manhattan House.”
“But Travertine House!” another would chime.
“Dreadful boxes,” I would say,
and the conversation would
turn to other failures
of imagination.

2 commentaires:

Stirling Davenport a dit…

So well conceived and beautifully written, Andrea. And how generous of Laura to invite you to add to her proliferata. Mais oui, Travertine, bien sur.

Stirling Davenport a dit…

And Laura, Man oh man, what a poem. Its graceful underpinning the radical idea that one should turn to beauty first, heaven first, all the blossoming stars and brave birdsongs before any thought of toil ... this was a joy to read.