Modern Howl

the phrase, the modern howl, is skeptical of its own existence 
like a landmine in a paper bag. seems to say, this mind isn’t 
what you think (and didn’t know it was until it was too late)

a symbol on a ridge, for example, a footprint on an 
iron shore. the moon is on a pedestal, an old man prays
makes shape with stalk hands, bone feet

these are the awnings of celestial worlds 

a young goddess, she’s got 
honey in her bloodstream, knows about spirits and 
hoop earrings. in a past life she was a vagabond or 
played one in a movie

remember you are dust and a thousand paper birds
she seems to say, the seeds of superstition or 
the resin on a toothbrush 

either way.

i envy this lapse of reason. of requiems, carparks and 
other forms of uninhabited language

forward in time, everything’s the same 
the mountain’s a Buddha, the roof is a pile of hair
a vulture smiles, forgets to stop and
ask for directions. then again, accidents are actions
poetry, smoke

15 thoughts on “Modern Howl

  1. U, your poetry should be read to students by literature professors. Your work is moving, and thought provoking, and filled with such truth one can almost hear a gavel hit the sound block when read!
    May you achieve all the recognition you and your poetry/writing deserve!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, thank you, Myth! I’m flattered you think that highly of my work. You are always so generous with your feedback. Thanks again for stopping by and continuing to read. I hope you are well.

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      1. You are most welcome! ☀️🥂
        I have so enjoyed your writing for such a long (adventurous) time now! I say, let’s put your gold penned poems into a ‘Time Capsule’ for a future generation to experience their very own presence that was once between the lines! 🌷

        I am doing well, Thank you! Embracing life, though wearing scars of the epidemic that has pierced far too many hearts. 😔

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha alright, cheers to the Time Capsule! 🥂😊 I’m glad you’re well. I know this past year has taken a real toll. Glad to see you’re here on WordPress, and if you decide to start sharing your beautiful poetry with us again, I’ll be more than happy to read.

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  2. I don’t know for what reason I remembered T. S. Eliot when reading this beautiful poem. He insisted a lot on the value of poetry as a contemplation of experience, and I think he was right because poetry is born from emotion revived in tranquility, until this tranquility is replaced by a new emotion, very similar to the first emotion that was the object of contemplation. Your emotions are likely to enter your poems when you write them to make them satisfying… It is worth remembering, in connection with your writing, the words of Stephen Spender, written by him many years ago: “Poetry does not state truths: it states the conditions within which something felt by us is true.”

    Have a nice weekend, L. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I both agree and disagree with you here. With regard to the role of emotion in poetry (and emotion recollected in tranquility), I’d say, “It depends on the poem and on the poet.” Sometimes, poetry is born out of strong emotion, either in the moment or in the reimagining, and acts as a kind of catharsis. For some poets—confessional poets, for example, and realists—the direct expression of emotion is a primary concern, is at the forefront of their work, and is in some respects, surely, self-satisfying. Yet, for still others, emotion is a secondary concern. (I see myself as usually, though not always, falling into this category.) Poetry is a means of creating a richer, more dynamic, more “complete” reality by fusing the imaginative and the real. Jim Morrison says, “There are images I need to complete my own reality.” That’s something he and I have in common and one of the reasons I am so attracted to his work. If I can sit in quiet contemplation and successfully tap into the mind’s images for awhile—and let go enough to really let them flow, combine, create a scene or scenes—then I’ve done something incredibly satisfying. Maybe the poem says something, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it’s moving, and maybe it isn’t. I only ever hope there’s some semblance of beauty in the rhythm and construction. Beauty is everything. Anyway, I think our society needs all kinds of poets and all kinds of poetry. I also think the only way we can truly evolve as a species is by returning to the primitive images and reinventing them. Like Andre Breton says, “The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.” 🙂 Un bon week-end!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with your disagreement, L. However, I would like to add that what poetry conveys, assuming it conveys something, is not a complex psychic reality, but the representation of a complex psychic reality. That is, for the poem to be satisfactory, it must present us with a reality in which the divorce between things or facts and meanings has been overcome. The poet cannot limit himself to the unique expression of an integrated reality, but he must also express his awareness of the precariousness and subjective limits of this integration. The contemplation of the experience leads to its representation in the poem and this is very important … In any case, do not take my words seriously. I am not a literary critic, I would not even want to become one.

        Enjoy your Saturday night, L. It’s 7:00 pm here, and I’m going out right now to enjoy mine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I will be spending time with this piece today…unwrapping it, feeling it, holding it…so much conveyed in your lines…”a young goddess, she’s got honey in her bloodstream..remember you are dust and a thousand paper birds she seems to say”…this life, this mind we live in, such a short time we have to see and attempt to understand things that are so fragile…collapsing what we think we know…but “accidents are actions” as we ride this “landmine in a paper bag”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. While I cannot possibly choose a favorite stanza, because they are all so delightful, I do have a strong connection to the honey flowing and hoop-earing wearing young goddess that you so vividly bring to life. I have printed several of your poems. I will add this to the stack.💖🥰

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you, Michele! It’s always fun to try and reinvent old forms–resurrect the goddesses and bring them back with a fresh face (and new pair of earrings). 😊 I hope you have a great week!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. haha Love that! Poems and Goddesses need variety. Fresh perspectives and new hoops add sparkle to the day! Much better than jumping through hoops!
        Thank you, you too. 😊

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