The Poets – Bert Meyers
There he sat among them
(his old friends) a walking ash
that knows how to smile.
And he still dreamed of a style
so clear it could wash a face,
or make a dry mouth sing.
But they laughed, having found
themselves more astonishing.
They would drive their minds
prismatic, strange, each wrapped
in his own ecstatic wires,
over a cliff for language,
while he remained to raise
a few birds from a blank page.
This continues to be one of my favorite Bert Meyers poems. Not only does it contain the characteristic Meyers’ eye for images capable of performing their own narrative while adding to the poem’s (“a walking ash/that knows how to smile”) but there is also something prayer-like to the focus of the lyric.
Through telling the story of one of “the poets,” the poem presents two sides and approaches to poetry. One side is that of the “he” who “dreamed a style/so clear it could wash a face,” while the other side is that of the other poets who “drive their minds/prismatic.”
In describing both sides, the speaker speaks in the clear manner that is dreamed of by the “he,” and does so with the effortlessness that is the opposite of the “prismatic” poets. When the poem gets to its last line, I can’t help but believe in the “few birds” rising from the poem before me.
Next week will bring me to back to my hometown, Corpus Christi, Texas for readings at Del Mar College and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. I’m really looking forward to these readings. It’ll be the first time in over 10 years that I’ll be reading in my hometown and I’m excited to share the work I’ve done so far. I’ll be reading from Everything We Think We Hear along with selections from the chapbooks. Here’s the info:
*)Wednesday, March 9th 2016 Del Mar College, White Library, Room 514: Reading & Book Signing 11am
*)Wednesday, March 9th 2016 Del Mar College, White Library, Room 514: Open Mic feature 7pm
*)Thursday, March 10th 2016 Texas A&M University Corpus Christi: Opening Reader for Laurie Ann Guerrero 7pm
I’ll also be spending the afternoon doing a talk/reading at Foy H. Moody High School the Friday of next week.
I’ll be reaching out to folks on Facebook but feel free to contact me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org