Volume 9 (Spring 2015)
want to turn entirely on longing
just because it is recognized
as something to be written
from. I want to be forgiven like
everybody else for my losses
which have names not worth
mentioning, and for my abuses.
Not that the poem should
be kept free of them, that if I
thirty-four years old, typing
half-naked with a cat curled
at my arm recognize them at all
it's hard to say what songless
creature will pour out. I am
trying to avoid
using my father's rampant words to describe
my father's absent longing.
I can hide behind a generation
of genre and academy,
here sweating. I would draw up
forests of want and block-houses of it
until the record
of from where the rag-tag want
had been born has been
cut off, untraceable,
to hide within. Perhaps he would live
instead an elder of his wisdom-hut
mind-heaving and I
would cultivate his experience for him
instead of endless mis-
translating. The poet
has no whereabouts he doesn't belong,
and I belong most at home
thinking homestead. The powers
of observation are quickened
by desire riding the shrinking
of the world. I know
the poem of the farm may be
hung in a cage from a tree. One feels want
to be the most important portion
of a poem whose beauty
is naivete. What is a tame thought?
The yellow bunny
I swear is busking
for more fortune of creation and with
what coins I can pay
I do not know. She peeks from under
the cordwood pallet, noting
some scratch of Nature's
transaction. I hear her. I do not know
the form of a chapter,
which is what
I wish to write for her, the nibbles now
of plantain grass and what looks
like wild raspberry leaf.
Sometimes I love the creature only
for the ways it is not
photograph-trampled. It lives
no known vanity. What Van
"I study nature, so as not to do foolish things."
To remain reasonable, as if one already were,
in a world....
David Bartone is the author of Practice on Mountains, a 2013 Sawtooth Poetry Prize winner (Ahsahta Press). He lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
On Libations: "Hmm. A Woodford Reserve, double oaked. I think of a pecan pie that calls for a splash of it, actually."