share


Beautiful Poetry

Being so caught up

So mastered.’

Yeats

 

 

I was too shy to say anything but Your poems are so beautiful.

What kinds of things, feelings, or ideas inspire you,

I mean, outside the raw experiences of your life?

He turned a strange crosshatched colour

as if he stood in a clouded painting, and said, Thanks,

but no other phenomena intrude upon my starlit mind.

 

 

I see you are wondering what this is all about. Don’t mind

me, I’m talking to myself again. Yes, poetry is nice and often beautiful,

yet it doesn’t beget much attention, money, or even a simple thanks

for placing the best words in the best order. That’s when I forget all about your

incessant demands, and the restless subject leaps the stream in Technicolour—

until the Remembrancer appears and says, Stop this wasteful life.

 

 

Doctor, lawyer, thief. These fancies of yours could cost a life

or worse, two. Meanwhile, he perceives my gifted body upholding my mind

as I’m explaining my stuff on the Unicorn Tapestries, cheeks starting to colour,

feathers ruffling, quiet shudders. He shrugs, Your content sounds too beautiful

but I’d like to read it sometime. Okay. He says all the right things, like I love you

Hyacinth Girl. Things get interesting until the sudden blow: Thanks

 

 

For the memories. What I’ll think seeing his new work in The New Yorker is Thanks

for nothing, asshole, as he drops me for that prolific pastoral life

with his wife upstate. The more I think about it, it all depends upon your

phantom attention. Surely a world embroiders itself in one’s mind

at any moment, words resounding, ardent present clarifyingly beautiful

And beautifully truthful. You know? Here I should put in a lapis colour

 

 

Or a murky midnight blue. Or have the crowd stagger by in a riot of colour

pinning down the helpless beast with spears and ritualistic thanks

to their gods. What one really wants to get at is the real, the eternally beautiful

like The White Album or something. That’s what makes one perilous life

worth living. All the brute indifference, humiliation, and failure can put one in the

mind

to give up, freak out, kill somebody, heart battered, so mastered. Oh you

 

 

Wherever I go, on the subway, in my cubicle, at play, in sleep, it’s always you

of the air, overpowering my senses like a Dutch master in one pure colour,

its fiction at full speed, walls breaking, a clarity panorama for the mind

hunting for meaning and finding it at last! Now look at all the work I did, and not

one thanks

Not even flowers. Off you rush to watch him accept another award in that life

We can only dream of. From where you sit it all seems so beautiful

 

 

And I finally understand you. For that I can’t express enough thanks

As the subject is the best colour for me in the difficulty of this lonely life.

It’s always caught up in my mind, what could be more beautiful.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

READ NEXT

poetry

July 2011

Letter of a Madman

Guy de Maupassant

TR. Will Stone

poetry

July 2011

Introduction by the translator In the early hours of 2 January 1892, sensing the approach of insanity, the renowned...

poetry

January 2016

Sex-Desert

Galina Rymbu

TR. Joan Brooks

poetry

January 2016

I’m screaming lying alone in this settlement     everything empty only emptiness sex – is a desert  ...

poetry

June 2013

Belly

Melissa Lee-Houghton

poetry

June 2013

When I was fifteen I took my two little cousins into town and had them wait outside the tattoo...

 

Get our newsletter

 

* indicates required