Sunday, March 11, 2012

Beware the Ides of March!

It is upon us this week.

March 15th, best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Jurius Brutus and Gauis Cassius Longinus.

In keeping with the wild windy unpredictability of this month I found a fitting poem just for you, Bluebell readers.

It is the work of Bruce Smith, professor of English and creative writing at Syracuse University and the author of four books of poems. His book The Other Lover, also published by the University of Chicago Press, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award

Immortality Ode

Miss Bliss, once I thought I was endless
since father was perpetual in his grade school
of seedlings in cups, the overly loved pets, and recess
while mother was the lipsticked dancing girl
on the Steel Pier who would outstep Hitler.
I was insufferable when I rolled
the Volkswagen bus two times and lived
with the snow chains like costumed jewels
slung over me and the spare rolled
away as in a folktale.
The pact I made in the spinning instant
said in my language of American
boy, Put up or shut up, to God,
the State Trooper who was kind
and spoke of service and punishment
and giving yourself away.
Now, I’m alive through the agency
of iron and contract work and appeals
to the fallen—angel and dusk—
but wet-winged and still without you,
Miss Bliss, who took me inside
where there was an ocean
before which we were children.
That calm, that fear,
that witness of the two-thirds
of everything else.

My review:
Smiths writing evokes lots of mentions of a forgone time. Especially it seems, the 40's. Recurring themes of laundromats, high schools, road side motels, film noir, and flitting references to Hitler. He raw and gritty and ethereal with no discernable predictability in the shifts. The way he puts together his words make it almost hard to read his poetry, unless you just let them flow through you. Experience the emotions the words bring to you. Enjoy them on that level and simply let yourself go with it.

This poem is from the book entitled The Other Lover (2000), and can be purchased at your favorite book store.

In the unpredictability of the season where winter releases with icy claws and spring is still not quite here.....

When friendships ( et tu brute?) and the barometer all combine, a tumult of change that signals the earth being reborn again for another year.....

Lets celebrate the gifts,

good poetry
gifted readers
and friends.

Till next time!