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Friday, January 19, 2018

two poems from 2013

untitled (for david bohm)

so the ten to the power of five hundred
universe/s are continuously
& simultaneously unfolding
in all directions (& partly — or wholly!
— enfolding again)

and it looks to me, and us, from where we sit, or are standing
now here in this particular universe,
as if we are at the centre
of this unfolding and enfolding…

being responsive appeared to be essential to his personal ethics

(a poem in memory of robert creely - in two parts)

part one

although i have written — and sometimes still write,
poems, i don’t know anything about poetry — but sometimes
a poet appears in my field of vision and i say : hey!
where did you come from — or : who the hell are you?

& mostly — like cats — they don’t say anything,
not because they’re haughty, but because they’ve
been dead since like forever but sometimes i find something they
said before - like robert creely (he only had one eye
& he wrote a poem about it).

asked what he thought about computers, he said : there has
never been a more efficient and unobtrusive support for writing
itself than that which a computer provides.′

so. we have no excuse.

part two

i too tried to teach poetry once and it nearly killed me
or it made me cry — but i’ll never forget you
year nine glenfield high winter nineteen ninety one except that australian winters on the east coast
don’t really count do they?
(it was bleak tho’).

when asked what a poem is, creely said :
a poem is a small (or large)
machine made of words’ — or perhaps
it’s the tree one will never see
a poem as lovely as. both propositions
come from new jersey as it happens.′

i added the line breaks and they may be
in the wrong place but it doesn’t matter
the point is : it was creely’s answer to the question
what is a poem? (actually the question was : is a poem like a field
or an ascent into the void
which reads to me
like a question asked by someone trying to show off
their cleverness) with a poem.

and when he was asked if he had any advice for the
world he said : stop killing people as a means of solution.’

winter 2013

notes : the quotes are from 20 questions with robert creeley’ in milkmag and i sent this to them, they might want to publish it, who knows? but what struck me reading about creely on wikipedia was that in his later years he was an advocate of, and a mentor to, many younger poets, as well as to others outside of the poetry world. he went to great lengths to be supportive to many people regardless of any poetic affiliation. being responsive appeared to be essential to his personal ethics, and he seemed to take this responsibility extremely seriously, in both his life and his craft. in his later years, when he became well-known, he would go to lengths to make strangers, who approached him as a well-known author, feel comfortable.”

some men, in later life, as it is apparently called — and this is where in time and space i find myself now … strange! i never thought of this as being the case before, that’s ageing for you : suddenly you find yourself in your later life’… ah well at least i made it this far, unlike my father but i have many fathers now — become gentle men, and i am delighted to know some of some of them. perhaps they become gentle because there are fewer and fewer of us left and what’s the point? you might as well be gentle, if that’s all you can ever be, gentle and generous, that’s not nothing. if you’ve got any money you can be be generous with that too - but in any case being generous with your self, your time, your mind, that’s not nothing which is not to say there are no bitter men who are, late in life are every bit as ruthless or worse than they ever were. but imagine if the world was run by women and older gentle men, instead of by them - what a world that could be!

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