Friday, December 4, 2009

Poetics Statement

There is a door.

From the inside, the door is white. Above the peephole, an index card reads: “poetry begins where language fails.” Understanding slips through. Without opening the door but rather contemplating the door, we better understand our entrances and exits toward knowing and beyond knowing.
Above the handwriting is a drawing sketched in pencil of a sun above two books above a figure acting and dancing above two small children, named though yet to be born, in the embrace of two parents.

“We have a soul at times./…Joy and sorrow/ aren’t two different feelings for it./ It attends us/ only when the two are joined./…We need it but apparently/ it needs us / for some reason too” (Szymborska).

Poetry more aptly names that which we can reach and that which borders the unknown. Poetry strives toward understanding that which has yet to be known.

“Poetry is to precisely name. To name specifically what is” (Samuel Hazo). Ask a child to more aptly name a bridge and hear: “river staple!” Rename the whiteness of the door like a child. Call this door a framed purpose.

On the white door, level with the drawing of dreams is a photograph of a storefront. A dark green, stenciled font, on a cream background reads “The Carson Street Deli.” Like a river staple, the sign links the cubicle inhabitants with their great grandfather’s working in the mills and walking Carson after a shot after a twenty-four hour swing shift.

Below the historically preserved sign is a photograph of another storefront’s window. Hand written, blue block letters read Bellview’s Jelly Preserves and hand written, red block letters advertise a savings of sixty cents daily.

The moment of poetry is the moment of vulnerability is the moment of opening the book to find the photograph on the reverse side of a birthday wish. The hometown bridge’s strong rivets in focus, the cityscape backgrounded. An antenna from atop the Highmark Health Insurance building, like a steeple, reaching.

Framed between frames at eye level: “To be so vulnerable as to believe.”

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