Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Poodle Bites, The Poodle Chooses

Took a break from packing up the lingerie and printing out poetry to look in the mirror and feel like crap.

Well, like Courtney says, "I'm pretty on the inside!"

This one's been kicking around for days and finally got the last of it.

Bless my oppressors, for teaching me
To choose my words so carefully.
And coyote, vain, striving and scorned,
For his bad example, every bristle in his tail,
His doggie cock and tongue. Bless him,
Every him, every humiliating him
Who ever had his way, for illuminating my way.
Bless the bear, every beast, every back
Turned against the sun and moon and me.
Bless the plague, even the plague of boils
That leaves scar after scar,
That made us who we are. That gave us what we know.
Where was I when the world was made?
I was a woman in the marketplace,
Walking among the crates of apples, pears,
Pomegranates, looking, choosing,
Choosing you, choosing you, choosing
My troubles, my loves, my ancestors, my fate.
Everything spread before me and I chose you,
I choose you and you bless me.


Slothrop said...

This one has beauty of language & breathtaking emotional force. I'm not sure of the source - the urgency of the repetitions, perhaps - or how you can come up w/ such visual yet delving couplets like "Bless the bear, every beast, every back / Turned against the sun & moon & me." That one belongs in Bartlett's.

The poem is so strong it gives me some context for your other work - if I were to make any criticism of your prior poems (any at all) it would be that they're almost too smart...ingenuity of construction sometimes crowds out the emotional dimension. This is the hardest area for an artist. I can always feel the frozen sea cracking a bit but here it really explodes. Much thanks.

It all reminds me of Orwell's observation "At fifty everyone gets the face they deserve." I always thought that was typical Orwell spleen until someone showed me the other side - the beauty experience can etch. Even boils, scars, & what is revealingly known as "careworn."

Maria Padhila said...

i was out of town but wanted to tell you--this comment made me start crying looking at my phone in the starbucks. thanks a lot!
maybe as you pile on the years, more people "get" you, or are less afraid to tell you they do, and so you crack more easily. ah, here we go: http://www.austincitylimits.org/seyret-video?task=videodirectlink&id=116

Anonymous said...

I just started reading your blog. I like the others but this one I love. It's very powerful. The first commenter said it best and beautifully.