Sharing Poetry: Gordon and Gizzi

I receive poems on a daily basis from a poetry database.  The intention is to not just inspire myself, but to yield envy.  As an aspiring writer, it’s hard not to desire wanting to write poetry as wonderful as these.  The poems and sources are linked.  The author’s web sites are also linked (their names).

Lo and behold:  “Summer in Winter in Summer” by Noah Eli Gordon and “Vincent, Homesick for the Land of Pictures” by Peter Gizzi.  I love the style and form of these poems, and Gordon compliments Gizzi for his inspiration on the Poets website.  It would be great to listen to these poems read, but the quickest way to do so is to record myself.  It’s simple, but I don’t think I could do the reading justice.

 

Please enjoy.

Summer in Winter in Summer

by Noah Eli Gordon

The bottom teeth of summer

in winter, braided into

whomever stood on the green green bridge watching her shadow lengthen.

Sun-pocket. Sunflower. Seedling, you

brittle blossoming something the room clears of dailyness.

Daily, the bottom teeth of summer

in winter, chewing through

ropes, raree show rapunzeled, which is realism

like this that there can be. These are really happened

tell me again stories I will. I will again against it.

Diving bell in a glass of water. Cacti atmosphere.

A perfect piece of pink cake

complicating perfection’s tendency to falter.

Who left it on the counter? Who walked through the room

as though through a composition? The speaker enters quietly,

closes a window, clearing dust from the chair

to sit in the center of the poem, invigorated

with inky awkward blankness.

The bottom teeth of summer

in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon

splashed over two dozen calendars. Here, the kids are grown.

The day is long. The bed, wide as a battleship, waits

in its buoyancy. Imagine a life and live in it. Imagine dead as ever

walking a cut lily back to water. Crazy epic crazier still trying

to put down roots. Summer in winter like a speaker

in water. The loudest electric sound is nothing compared

to the soundest perforation. My paper life. My paper doll.

Your paper boy. Sun sun sunflower seed summer you

can say you love in a poem’s inky blank awkwardness

your paper boy. Sun sun sunflower seed summer you

to the soundest perforation. My paper life. My paper doll

in water. The loudest electric sound is nothing compared

to put-down roots. Summer in winter like a speaker

walking a cut lily back to water. Crazy epic crazier still trying

in its buoyancy. Imagine a life and live in it. Imagine dead as ever

the day is long. The bed, wide as a battleship, waits,

splashed over two dozen calendars. Here, the kids are grown

in winter chattering: here’s the moon. Here’s the moon.

The bottom teeth of summer

with inky awkward blankness

to sit in the center of the poem, invigorated,

closes a window, clearing dust from the chair.

As though through a composition, the speaker enters. Quietly,

who left it on the counter? Who walked through the room

complicating perfection’s tendency to falter.

A perfect piece of pink cake.

Diving bell in a glass of water. Cacti atmosphere,

tell me again stories I will I will. Again, against it

like this that there can be. These are really happened

ropes, raree show rapunzeled. Which is realism

in winter: Chewing through

daily the bottom teeth of summer?

Brittle blossoming something the room clears of dailyness?

Sun-pocket. Sunflower. Seedling, you

whomever stood on the green green bridge watching her shadow lengthen

in winter, braided into

the bottom teeth of summer.

Copyright © 2013 by Noah Eli Gordon.

*               *               *               *               *
Is this what you intended, Vincent
that we take our rest at the end of the grove
nestled into our portion beneath the bird’s migration
saying, who and how am I made better through struggle.
Or why am I I inside this empty arboretum
this inward spiral of whoop ass and vision
the leafy vine twisting and choking the tree.
O, dear heaven, if you are indeed that
or if you can indeed hear what I might say
heal me and grant me laughter’s bounty
of eyes and smiles, of eyes and affection.
To not be naive and think of silly answers only
not to imagine answers would be the only destination
nor is questioning color even useful now
now that the white ray in the distant tree beacons.
That the sun can do this to us, every one of us
that the sun can do this to everything inside
the broken light refracted through leaves.
What the ancients called peace, no clearer example
what our fathers called the good, what better celebration.
Leaves shine in the body and in the head alike
the sun touches deeper than thought.
O to be useful, of use, to the actual seen thing
to be in some way related by one’s actions in the world.
There might be nothing greater than this
nothing truer to the good feelings that vibrate within
like in the middle of the flower I call your name.
To correspond, to be in equanimity with organic stuff
to toil and to reflect and to home and to paint
father, and further, the migration of things.
The homing action of geese and wood mice.
The ample evidence of the sun inside all life
inside all life seen and felt and all the atomic pieces too.
But felt things exist in shadow, let us reflect.
The darkness bears a shine as yet unpunished by clarity
but perhaps a depth that outshines clarity and is true.
The dark is close to doubt and therefore close to the sun
at least what the old books called science or bowed down to.
The dark is not evil for it has indigo and cobalt inside
and let us never forget indigo and the warmth of that
the warmth of the mind reflected in a dark time
in the time of pictures and refracted light.
Ah, the sun is here too in the polar region of night
the animal proximity of another and of nigh.
To step into it as into a large surf in late August
to go out underneath it all above and sparkling.
To wonder and to dream and to look up at it
wondrous and strange companion to all our days
and the toil and worry and animal fear always with us.
The night sky, the deep sense of space, actual bodies of light
the gemstone brushstrokes in rays and shimmers
to be held tight, wound tighter in the act of seeing.
The sheer vertical act of feeling caught up in it
the sky, the moon, the many heavenly forms
these starry nights alone and connected alive at the edge.
Now to think of the silver and the almost blue in pewter.
To feel these hues down deep, feel color wax and wane
and yellow, yellows are the tonality of work and bread.
The deep abiding sun touching down and making its impression
making so much more of itself here than where it signals
the great burning orb installed at the center of each and every thing.
Isn’t it comforting this notion of each and every thing
thought nothing might be the final and actual expression of it
that nothing at the center of something alive and burning
green then mint, blue then shale, gray and gray into violet
into luminous dusk into dust then scattered now gone.
But what is the use now of this narrow ray, this door ajar
the narrow path canopied in dense wood calling
what of the striated purposelessness in lapidary shading and line.
To move on, to push forward, to take the next step, to die.
The circles grow large and ripple in the hatch-marked forever
the circle on the horizon rolling over and over into paint
into the not near, the now far, the distant long-off line of daylight.
That light was my enemy and one great source of agony
one great solace in paint and brotherhood the sky and grass.
The fragrant hills spoke in flowering tones I could hear
the gnarled cut stumps tearing the sky, eating the sun.
The gnarled cut stumps tearing the sky, eating the sun
the fragrant hills spoke in flowering tones I could hear
one great solace in paint and brotherhood the sky and grass.
That light was my enemy and one great source of agony
into the not near, the now far, the distant long-off line of daylight
the circle on the horizon rolling over and over into paint.
The circles grow large and ripple in the hatch-marked forever.
To move on, to push forward, to take the next step, to die.
What of the striated purposelessness in lapidary shading and line
the narrow path canopied in dense wood calling
but what is the use now of this narrow ray, this door ajar.
Into luminous dusk into dust then scattered now gone
green then mint, blue then shale, gray and gray into violet
that nothing at the center of something alive and burning
through nothing might be the final and actual expression of it.
Isn’t it comforting this notion of each and every thing
the great burning orb installed at the center of each and every thing
making so much more of itself here than where it signals.
The deep abiding sun touching down and making its impression
and yellow, yellows are the tonality of work and bread.
To feel these hues down deep, feel color wax and wane
now to think of the silver and the almost blue in pewter.
These starry nights alone and connected alive at the edge
the sky, the moon, the many heavenly forms
the sheer vertical act of feeling caught up in it.
To be held tight, wound tighter in the act of seeing
the gemstone brushstrokes in rays and shimmers.
The night sky, the deep sense of space, actual bodies of light
and the toil and worry and animal fear always with us
wondrous and strange companion to all our days.
To wonder and to dream and to look up at it
to go out underneath it all above and sparkling
to step into it as into a large surf in late August.
The animal proximity of another and of nigh.
Ah, the sun is here too in the polar region of night
in the time of pictures and refracted light
the warmth of the mind reflected in a dark time
and let us never forget indigo and the warmth of that.
The dark is not evil for it has indigo and cobalt inside
at least what the old books called science or bowed down to.
The dark is close to doubt and therefore close to the sun
but perhaps a depth that outshines clarity and is true.
The darkness bears a shine as yet unpunished by clarity
but felt things exist in shadow, let us reflect.
Inside all life seen and felt and all the atomic pieces too
the ample evidence of the sun inside all life
the homing action of geese and wood mice
father, and furhter, the migration of things.
To toil and to reflect and to home and to paint
to correspond, to be in equanimity with organic stuff
like in the middle of the flower I call your name.
Nothing truer to the good feelings that vibrate within
there might be nothing greater than this
to be in some way related by one’s actions in the world.
O to be useful, of use, to the actual seen thing.
The sun touches deeper than thought
leaves shine in the body and in the head alike
what our fathers called the good, what better celebration.
What the ancients called peace, no clearer example
the broken light refracted through leaves.
That the sun can do this to everything inside
that the sun can do this to us, every one of us
now that the white ray in the distant tree beacons.
Nor is questioning color even useful now
nor to imagine answers would be the only destination
to not be naive and think of silly answers only.
Of eyes and smiles, of eyes and affection
heal me and grant me laughter’s bounty.
Or if you can indeed hear what I might say
O, dear heaven, if you are indeed that
the leafy vine twisting and choking the tree
this inward spiral of whoop ass and vision.
Or why am I I inside this empty arboretum
saying, who and how am I made better through struggle
nestled into our portion beneath the bird’s migration
that we take our rest at the end of the grove
is this what you intended, Vincent.
Peter Gizzi, “Vincent, Homesick for the Land of Pictures,” in The Outernationale © 2007 by Peter Gizzi and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: The Outernationale (Wesleyan University Press, 2007)

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