Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Problem of Being the Wine

Gold


The Problem of Being the Wine
 After reading Robert Hass


A woman who liked me once recommended my vintage
to a folksinger I seemed to love.

He told me “Judy said you have the soul of a butterfly in there
and we must make love if you would like that.”

Being young is such a snare and makes gifts of this nature
impossible to either use or refuse. ( Likewise, being old.)

So I poured for him that quick drink with the flutter of wings before
he left for graduate school and his war exemption.

He wrote he lost his blue eyed music, gave his heart to a restless
housewife, wet Pensacola nights, palm trees and a blonde summer.

Blowing down the road to the dustbowl in your cyclone of winter dark eyes
and skittering aspen-leaf hair seemed the only logical response.




March 2012




 Posted for   OpenLinkNight   at dVerse Poets Pub





Robert Hass is a celebrated modern American poet, post-beat, translator of haiku, and former Poet Laureate of the US from 1995-97. Among other things, this poem is a pastiche of his somewhat laconic style.



Image: Gold, by stephee on flick'r
Shared under a Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License

51 comments:

  1. I really like the rhythm of this! Makes me want to read it again -- definitely a spoken word poem.
    Wonderful.

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  2. Very sweet. And dry. Like rare vintage. K.

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  3. This is different from your usual style, but I like the way you handled the terse lines, with your imagery brightening the laconic tone with colour and texture.

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  4. smiles....soul of a butterfly...i can believe it...and love the last image as i see the butterflies down the road a bit as well...interesting piece...a bit different from your norm of late...nice story telling style hedge...

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  5. A breezy comment along the lines of this poetic: Whenever I read Haas I get in a Californ-i-ay mood; I think of wine country, hmmm, and haas avocados, yes; a-and the California girl, yes, the one I was so smitten with in college but, hmmm -- more wine, waiter -- due to an excess of cheap Gallo white one night (brewed on the fridge truck to Spokane), I couldn't, hmmm, rise to the occasion of love, sigh, and sadly lost her. At least, that's the vinous "Boys of Summer" drift of ennui I get while reading this, too buzzed to smart or stay that focused, which is how I suppose all Californians are, in that land of fruits and nuts and artisan avocados. The problem with being the wine, I guess, is, hmmm, that there is no logical response isn't somewhat equally addled, contrived, or moot, which is fine if you're living in California, or reading in that California way, and have all night to say it, or, besieged by inattention, have time only to whiff the cork of these six fine stanzas. I do wish I had the recipe. Check please ... - Brendan

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    1. I'll have the sommelier tell the head waiter to bring that check, but I seem to have lost the recipe.

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    2. btw, I think you may have outdone me on the pastiche, proving that the poetic can still rise to the occasion when, hmmmm, properly stimulated.

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  6. "being young is such a snare" Nice, how you got a "drum" in there, in the folksinger's world drumless world. I wonder if even his restless heart can keep a steady beat.

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  7. ooh, love this, wonderful in tone and truth.
    "Being young is such a snare and makes gifts of this nature
    impossible to either use or refuse. ( Likewise, being old.)"
    just fabulous.

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  8. So much reading to catch up on.
    As yet I can't evaluate my interpretation of your interpretation of this poet. Whatever, it seems to stand soundly on its own many feet :-)

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  9. Blowing down the road to the dustbowl in your cyclone of winter dark eyes and skittering aspen-leaf hair seemed the only logical response.

    This does seem different from your usual style, but I love the imagery and the sense of flow in the line--Lovely

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  10. Someone left the cake out in the rain
    I don't think that I can take it
    'cause it took so long to bake it
    and I'll never have that recipe again--

    In the words of the immortal Jimmy Webb.

    Your last stanza BLOWS me away. I love your witchy side, but must say that I would love to see more introspection of this nature from you, because it's SO0000 delicious...as that quick "drink of wine" you poured for him must surely have been.

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    1. Yeah, this stuff is fun to write in its own way--sort of like junk food is fun, and cake, which even melted with icing running all over the place would be pretty sweet atm. Thanks, Timo.

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  11. this poem flows like the pouring of wine... and adds the last twist right before the fall is finished... amazing write

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  12. Laconic? Certainly. Yet it speaks also of innocence, hope, disillusion and regret. It resonated with me.

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  13. What I love about this is that you can tell a tale within a poem, cleverly thought through! Beautifully described :)

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  14. Yowsers, what a write. I love it. And if Pensacola did you that way I'll scatch it off my list of Florida stops. I was just fixing to switch from wine. Excellente!

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  15. What's a girl to do, right? Definitely a bit different for you Joy...but enjoyed thoroughly. A certain testament to the versatility of your pen, and well...the talent's a given!

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  16. What's logic got to do...got to do with it...?

    Wine is intoxicating, it flows, it's nice to look at, it needs something to hold it, and yes, people recommend different vintages to one another. Woman as wine, I'm liking it, and it is no mean trick to pull it off without lapsing into cliche, but you never do.

    I wonder, though...why does she end up sounding more lost than he is, in the end? She should be living la dolce vita, and letting him eat his heart out. She should, but it doesn't turn out that way, far too often. Spill the wine, take that pearl.

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    1. Don't worry, it all works out for our intrepid heroine in the last chapter. Thanks Shay, for seeing La Vie En Rose( ro-zay, that is) inside the wineglass

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  17. I fell in love with a wine one day long ago. It was named WHITE PORT, came expertly bottled in a gallon milk-type jug, and we lived together for about a year. They called me "Gallon-A-Day-Steve"...then, "WINO STEVE"...and later, "The DUMMY"

    Whooof! It expanded my mind like fire expands a dried limb of tree.
    But those days before that year (being young)--and since--(being old) have been a string of happiness, sadness, and finally, helpless hopelessness.

    GOOD writings all over this place!

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    1. Thanks steve--so many times its better to BE the wine than drink it. And I wouldn't describe what I can see of your life as hopeless, though I think all of us are more or less helpless. ;_)

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  18. I really enjoyed the metaphor in the use of the butterfly and the last two lines are super vivid, Hedge! Great writing!

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  19. This stanza is just brilliant, wise:

    Being young is such a snare and makes gifts of this nature
    impossible to either use or refuse. ( Likewise, being old.)


    And that last one just grabs me, and brings me along in the wind.
    All so visual, visceral. Lovely.

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  20. You never cease to amaze me with your choice of storytelling devices, response to other poets, depth of imagination, and capacious intelligence. You're a poet's poet (like Gillian Ayers is a painter's painter) and we're all richer for it.

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  21. Ditto Anna!Hearing music everywhere as I do, this took me to a favorite genre of mine - lying between Judy Collins, PP&M, Simon & Garfunkel, and Dylan (not the Thomas one). Just great and fun and we must get Robin D. to read this. It will definitely resonate with her!

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  22. I really enjoyed this telling Hedge...just masterfully done. I was captivated by the closing.... "Blowing down the road to the dustbowl in your cyclone of winter dark eyes and skittering aspen-leaf hair seemed the only logical response." Loved this! ~ Rose

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  23. ha...we women - unlike men - always seem to pour ourselves...and then...the emptiness is big.. yep...it is a problem...if you got a suggestion to change this...let me know...heck..a different voice today from you hedge, but really liked it..

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  24. I was completely mesmerized by every word. This is poetry, and I am in love with it.

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  25. I'm glad you included the "( Likewise, being old.)" part. This left me a little sad. Poured out again into the wrong goblet, kinda sad.

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  26. Interesting piece here...The last stanza resonates for me. Taste or being tasted...let the wine flow... but when I choose to taste...beware out there... lol!

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  27. Oh this is nice, a departure from your usual style but as usual a great write. I particularly love the last lines "in your cyclone of winter dark eyes" Nice!

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  28. This was one of those poems that made my heart ache. I ABSOLUTELY loved it... a really emotive tail of love and lust- and somewhere at the end- loss. I guess that being seen as a 'wine' encourages temptation. easy to get drunk on it too- we never think about the hangovers do we. I love your dark style- this was different- differnet form- different tone- but i loved it- packed full of emotion and language that just had me hooked and longing- you know- one of those poems that makes your head drop a little (in a good way) once you've read it.

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  29. A visual variance from your usual, and thanks for the intro to Hass. Don't know how I missed him, but I will look now. The delicacy of the butterfly is lost to some, but in your vintage and sensibility, you savor its flavor. This captures that something of the intensely feminine and yet powerful that your mythology evokes. Lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Ruth. Hass is good, no mistake, but I have to say I found him rather an empty vessel--still, his style is worth reading, if only because there is so much of it in the modern poetic voice.You won't find much in the way of central visuals, but of course, I can't write without them...;-) Anyway, this really was meant as a pastiche.

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  30. Joy.. simple, profound, true. I know. I was there.

    Finely laid out poetically.. so happy I dropped in.. :)

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  31. Thos nights that have gone by in such fluttering of wings! I love rhe metaphor and how this brings with it a sad sobriety that doesn't reminisce with bitterness but with clarity. Life seems to teach us so much between the lines, it seems. And here the lines are so finely penned. Each moment is choice if need be. Pulling in the past to the present makes us more able to form ourselves for a tmorrow that we see more clearly, more authentically and with more compassion.

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    1. Thanks, Charles. Wine is a metaphor for so many things, and while I find butterflies to be generally overused, I was referencing an actual conversation verbatim(almost) so sort of had to go with it. Your own piece was stellar, full of human insight.

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  32. What a great read this was. Fantastic writing, as always, kiddo.

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  33. Oh, Hedge. I wonder how many of us nodded along as we read . . .

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  34. oi oi hedge - i'm hanging back after hours this week due to a shitty dead line i had to meet last eve... love it when you write this way - it really does it for me! - smart and illuminating...
    you open up a window and i'm an avid peeper! ... the final flow;
    i was on the road again!... sweeeeet drift to finish for sure.

    i have to say coz i'm your the onlt GOT fan i know - That ending... possibly the best EVER! if i could id have beheaded myself and then drizzled some boiling tar on my own noggin to go straight into the next series! awesome!

    cheers hedge

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  35. jeez im frazzled first sentence second paragraph should read...

    your the only G o T fan i know - time for bed - lol

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    1. I was missin you, brother. That orful work stuff--so annoying! Thanks for the kind words. GoT revived my hope in the fantasy genre, which has gotten increasingly precious over the years turning out bosomy elven princesses and stuff of great yuck to me. If you're just at the end of the first book, you're in for much more feasting on what I think should be right up your dark, blooddripping alley--I've read em all except the latest--waiting for the paperback cuz I'm cheap.

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  36. He is gone, Hedge! Just that fleeting moment.It was good when it lasted!

    Hank

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  37. Hedge.....we must be of the same age, experience, etc. ! LOL!

    You write my own experience with a man (several of them) and the hair on the back of my neck stood up when I read this poem.

    You just get better and better, and more honest. I think I like your poetry best when it is this close to the bone of the heart.

    Absolutely real.

    Lady Nyo

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  38. This is gorgeous. And sensuous. And wistful. The idea that these gifts are equally lost on the young and the old is so true! And the ending - your logical response! - fantastic.

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  39. Clear, clean yet lyrical and filled with wonderful twirls of language!

    Remembering those long ago flings, acquaintances, friends can bring such a stir of emotion. Well captured.

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  40. This is great...love this...Being young is such a snare and makes gifts of this nature
    impossible to either use or refuse. ( Likewise, being old.)

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  41. Don't know Haas (along with so much else I don't know) but I know what I like. This brings me back to that time. Strange Days for all. I note that there's more good wine floating through the world now than in all times before. Very nice writing.

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  42. Absolutely wonderful poem, filled with whimsy and wistfulness. And it makes me think, sometimes I love the bouquet of a fine aged wine... and sometimes I like a Beaujolais Nouveau. And now your metaphor has made me blush.

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  43. I felt I was inside of a dream while reading this. enjoyed very much.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg