Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wonders Never Cease

Well, since I posted my lament for the apparent unpublishability of "The Stepford Widow" the unthinkable has happened. A Canadian publisher, Mercutio Press, emailed me absolutely out the blue to tell me some bad news and some good news. First of all, they couldn't publish my book submission, sent over a year ago. Well, that was too bad, but not entirely unexpected. (After all, nobody ever wants to publish a book of poems if they can help it, right?) However, the editor liked one of the sample poems I sent him (guess which one) and wants to do a broadside edition of it to the tune of 150 copies. So maybe my wail of despair resonated in the stratosphere and produced this bizarre result. "The Stepford Widow" will be issued as a broadside in purple or dark green ink, much to my amazement.

So the moral of the story is: don't give up, even after you've long since given up.

Anyway, it's been a lean month for poems as far as I'm concerned, because I've been writing a children's book that no parent would ever want to give their child. Still, I did manage this one. It's essentially a dream written down after it happened, and as such may have little or no meaning to anyone else. We'll see...

The Meadowlarks

Puppies scrambled across your face—
I couldn’t stop them, though I was close
and clinging still more tightly to you.
The brush of our hands, considered truly,
contained a kiss; there was holy urgency
in our touches in the back of a car.
We were first thrown together as others drove
that dreadful and delightful road
to the merciful meadow. We lay in grooved
oblivion—your dark hair in my lungs
waiting for those to whom we owed
our love to forgive that debt and leave.
And then the tiny, almost fluttering
earthbound butterflies—the puppies, caressing
your absent face with faint paws—velvet
vermin cuckolding me before
I had ever known such open air,
such an unexpected, dreamlike lark
whose wings folded up even as they took flight.

(Fire away, Doctor Freud.)


Anonymous Victor Schnickelfritz said...

A children's book no parent would ever want to give to their child? That sounds like a real disaster. Is this a private event for a certain child and a certain set of parents? I always thought that I might do something like that.

Instead I made up nursery rhymes. Apparently they were so traumatized by them that they will no longer allow me to sing/recite them to them anymore. So much for the old college try.

As for "The Meadowlarks," I'm not sure if the speaker is anthropomorphizing the birds or the speaker is a bird avianpomorphizing humans.

I'm not sure about "waiting for those to whom we owed
our love to forgive that debt and leave." I get stuck there (what debt? it seems a specfic one, but I don't know what it is), yet perhaps I am supposed to.

Of course, the obvious psychoanalytical read here is that in a previous life you were British so that the British slang of "bagging a bird" is not lost on you at all.

I wanna sing this last one for "all the ones that got away."

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The language seems pretentious and too academic. Try to unveil your language. You are a professor but you don't have to keep reiterating this fact in your poetry. Your comments about Stepford Wives also lends to an air of pomposity...

4:54 PM  
Blogger Brad said...

Dear Anonymous,

Care to unveil any specific examples of pomposity in a particular poem?

4:55 PM  

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