Thursday, August 30, 2018

"We Wish We Had No Noses" (a poetic fragment)

"We Wish We Had No Noses" (a poetic fragment)
by JJ 8/30/2018

Anger, it's true, anger
is there.
And other sensations yet unknown,
beyond the edge,
beneath the crust,
of this foot pounded hard shell of earth.

There is a slow poison
punched deep in the skin,
an anesthetic cancer
weaving through spaces of nerves,
imitating normal life.

Slowly, we get used to it.

But then the way is interrupted
by erupting fire shots from the ground.

Strike shocks ear drums,
strains, spins eyes in circles.
We watch pieces of flesh ripped, burned,
scattered in the field,
stinking in the air. We wish
we had no noses.

Anger is there, and sorrow is rain
falling harder and harder
as evening makes

a world of mud lakes.
Now every step slips
in sewers of soft sludge
or kicks open fissures of lightning
hidden under rocks.

Can these old bones

in this child soul
learn to walk again?


Note on one thematic aspect expressed in the words above: Sometimes in life, you feel like you're in a place full of hidden landmines that keep exploding (literally or metaphorically). That's one of the images (by no means the only one) that enters into the texture of this "poetic fragment."

The image of landmines works within a complex of other themes and impressions grasped through experience, imaginative empathy, and other perceptions and resources. These inspire and shape the 'creative intuition' that guides the practical work of crafting words into a poem (with varying degrees of success).

My initial title for this work was "Landmine," but I chose instead another title--a more concrete and subjective image with more subtlety, that is also suggestive of other interrelated themes that came together in the writing process.

Poetry is never simply argument or narrative (even when it also carries out and/or contributes to these generally prosaic tasks). It flows from an intuition expressed in language that probes reality and provokes insight, aesthetic connection, and sometimes astonishment.