apathy?

March 31, 2007

Every sunset is new. I know that much.
There’s a crumbling woman who walks all day, neck bent
like half an archway that the streets won’t stop
passing through. They try to thread her
but slip away and nothing is made.

What do I know? Less and less
fear of her, thankfully. The pain
of the other casts a shadow snare
that sends me scurrying to snug in apathy.
But I do feel something. I still won’t help,
I won’t wish her away.

She knows what she’s doing –
I’ve always had enough respect for her to see it
and today I can’t make her see anything, I can’t stitch
or prop, or point out the new sun, the now-sun
that breathes the clouds into flowers of evening
just for her.

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13 Responses to “apathy?”

  1. Scavella said

    This one sticks with me. I’ll be back to reread.

    Why not do NaPoWriMo? C’mon. You know you wanna.

  2. Haha. My old alt was banned for arguing with Howard, I joined with a new one and a mod noticed, though he didn’t re-ban me (I did apologise to him and beg to be allowed to stay). So I could do NaPoWrMo, and I might be banned again but nothing lost… however, there’s something totalitarian about the poetry free for all that gets under my skin. I would probably argue with someone again at some point. I see why your forum is that way, though – you attract a whole bunch of the ‘poetry is about me being me and you’ve no right to tell me it’s about the reader’ crowd and you need crowd control. But I am happier being led than herded.

    I’m quite content at Eratosphere, whose members are equally skilled, but the infrastructure is a little gentler and the culture involves entertaining disputes and political tides tempered with a little olde-worlde courtesy. That said, your Lola Two (interested to know what you think of her work) is one of my favourite poets, though I rarely understand her poems.

    Thanks for your comment. The lady is real, she just keeps walking, very slowly, all day I think. Resentfully.

  3. i am so glad, so glad, you are back.

    walking is sometimes what you have to do to keep from something that you don’t know is there until you stop walking. she probably is o.k., when she walks, she’s just afraid of being fixed into something solid.

  4. Scavella said

    Love, love, love Lola’s work.

  5. I am so glad you are glad, dreamlistener. You are very nice to me 🙂 and it is appreciated.

    Yes, I agree, I think that’s what she’s doing. I don’t know if it’s helping though. She looks like there’s a bit of her that thinks something will happen, maybe next moment, some angel will descend. I’ve wondered if I could be that angel, I suspect everyone who sees her wonders that from time to time. But I don’t think I could help, and from experience when you try it can go wrong and drag you down. A poem is the best I can do I guess.

    Scavella: but do you understand it? No one else seems to when I consider the crits she receives. And yet it is so very loveable… she is a surrealist so perhaps understand is the wrong word. I covet her skill you know, she is the only writer whose ability I am jealous of (not that I think I can write as well as many writers, but that I don’t want to write ‘like them’. Lola’s work reminds me of me, it’s like what I want to do but lack the skill to). I must read, read, read.

    endlessly

  6. Scavella said

    Understand? You mean with my head? I don’t think that’s relevant.

    Some other part of me understands perfectly and responds.

    I miss her work.

  7. Hmm, yes that’s what I thought. One thing about Eratosphere is that they don’t encourage you to that kind of oddness, but lately I’ve been feeling the need for it anyway. That said, I’m sensitive to the criticism of modern poets as ivory tower hermits casting out reams of meaninglessness. My heart is divided on this one, but Lola’s work is beautiful, frightening and linguistically startling enough for me to like without being able to explain it.

    Yes, me too; I’d like to read more.

  8. dream listener said

    this is not apathy. this is seeing. and making beauty where there is pain. this is being with, and that is deeply moving. i love the way architecture and the human body reference and move through one another. and it is true, we can’t make anyone see anything, but i hope when she passes you with her head down she can feel your presence.

  9. dream listener said

    p.s. who is this lola you speak of?

  10. A poet on the workshop site Scavella moderates for. I think you’d have to join to see her stuff, then search the merciless forum for Lola Two. I’m sure you’d be welcome there; it’s a good site for learning the craft, though it doesn’t suit me for reasons I’ve outlined above. It’s called the Poetry Free For All.

    Thanks for your comments on the poem. Yes, the motivation was that if I can’t help, at least I can make something from pain that’s not useless, not entirely.

  11. Gosh, I only just discovered NaPoWriMo was like, this big thing. I thought it was an invention of the Everypoet site. That shows you how much I pay attention to what’s happening in the arts world. I suppose I’m too late now, but I could try to catch up…

  12. Scavella said

    Try.

    It’s never too late. Many people join late, and then try and catch up, or else try and write a poem a day for the rest of April. 30 poems in 30 days. Haven’t done it yet, but I”m trying.

    I’m posting mine on a page of my blog, to assist with the post-April deletion. Last year I posted as separate posts.

    One of these days someone will invent a NaPo blogring, if they haven’t already.

    Cheers.

  13. I did about thirty in february – peaked too soon. Well maybe I’ll put this evening into it and see how far I can get.

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