* a more passionate saying with joel oppenheimer

I don’t revise much these days…except in the interest of a more passionate syntax

(Yeats)

These words by Yeats were said later in his life to poet John Berryman on their one and only meeting. The idea in them is fascinating, the great poet having gotten to a point where the technical matters got down to phrasing, which is saying.

a more passionate saying

This is something I aspire to in my own writing, but also in my own reading. Weekly, I strive to find things that stop me for one reason or another.

In this week’s poem “Leave It To Me Blues” by Joel Oppenheimer, he goes about his particular saying through straightforward language and a lyric subtlety that disarms as much as surprises.

* blushing moon *
* this week’s round and round *

Leave It To Me Blues – Joel Oppenheimer

from the heart of a flower
a stalk emerges; in each fruit
there are seeds. we turn our
backs on each other so often,
we destroy any community of
interest. yet our hearts are
seeded with love and care sticks
out of our ears. but there is no
bridge unless it is the wind which
whistles our bare house, tearing
the slipcovers apart and constantly
removing the tablecloth covering
it (the table) like a shroud (the
shroud of what the table could mean,
if only we were hungry enough to
care), and we cut ourselves off
because we discovered each man is
an island, detached. man, the
mainland is flipped over the moon.
all i have to depend on is effort,
and the moon goes round and round
in the evening sky. my sons will
make it if they ever reach age,
but how to take care i dont know.
it doesn’t get better. on the other
hand, even with answers, where
would we be, out in the cold, with
an old torn blanket, and no one
around us to cry

***

Happy arounding!

Jose

*poem found in the anthology A Controversy of Poets.

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