Thursday, October 13, 2022

Blown Away

 
 
 
Blown Away
 
 
Come look
at what I salvaged
from the breakdown:
 
in this jar is Chicago
with its concrete throat
that tried so hard to swallow me
 
and here is Montana
mountain wild, spruce bending
to save me, painted
 
in five colors on my spurious tongue
that cracked ripe hearts
like nutshells in

the vise of logic. The rest
of what I had sailed in my witchboat,
to a quiet Viking funeral with
 
 no one watching--riddled
seeds, costumes and seven secrets
wrapped in your trinket kisses--

but I kept the beach
at Point Reyes, where the wind
clean off the ocean

is strong enough
to blow away
your life.




October 2022
















posted for







 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Images: Untitled (marina) © Zdzislaw Beksinksi   Fair Use
Point Reyes, California, Tomales Point Trail with Wild Radish, NPS/A. Kopshever   Fair Use

14 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful - love the witchboat, and "but I kept the beach at Point Reyes". Such a lovely read.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry. It's a lovely place I will always keep in my heart.

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  2. My goodness but that's a gorgeous image of Point Reyes after the poem, Joy. I think that Ric Masten would love it that you used that place as a focus for this.
    I expect that you've surmised that I put "Chicago" in there just for you, even though I know it wasn't a happy place for you. I thought it might still be helpful or at least useful.
    That's a searing middle section about Montana, ripe hearts, and the "vice of logic."
    Your ending is perfect and part of what I love about it is that it can be taken several ways, or in a combination of meanings. Maybe it means a shedding of the physical, or of regrets and mistakes. or it could mean the beauty and spirituality of the place blows a person away in that sense. it could mean a cleansing, a killing, or simple surprise. Myself, I read it the first way, a shedding of all the good and bad that we've lived and carry around with us; a freeing.
    I'm so glad that you wrote for the List. This one is going to stay with me for a long time.

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    1. Thank you, Shay, and I appreciate the addition of Chicago to your list--it got me started.

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  3. "in this jar is Chicago / with its concrete throat / that tried so hard to swallow me" - Damn!!! And I love this: "The rest / of what I had sailed in my witchboat" Wonderful ending. Blows us away.

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    1. Thanks, qbit. I loved your bee-atific poem as well.

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  4. I'm not nuts about word list challenges - too much making do where poems should be fished entire (which keeps me ever an idiot). But here it's the right conceit, because salvage is the work here: What to keep, what to forget before it all blows away. The arc here is from Chicago's "concrete throat" to a wilderness concretism -- art without heart, "painted / in five colors on my spurious tongue / that cracked ripe hearts / like nutshells in / the vise of logic." (Brilliant.) Somehow love finds a way in, questing in the "witchboat" and ending (for the narrative, at least) with the Viking funeral at the end of such quests. The breeze off Point Reyes then is clarifying, carrying off (like thrown ashes) whatever it was we thought was all. The gods always get the last laugh from their cinders. A tart cider to savor this morning perusing the library of skulls.

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    1. I understand, B. I myself have an aversion to erasure poems, which seem culled from someone else's work too directly. However, when the muse-machine is as rusty as mine, broader concepts tend to pass over me, and staring at the suggestions in particular words seems to help me make that dive to dredge something up from my own little corpse-infested millpond. Thanks so much for your generous read. I do feel the All Hallows spirit creeping up, so perhaps there are some other an more independent words lurking in the dark that will emerge.

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  5. "Seven secrets/wrapped in your trinket kisses": blown away by these words alone. Images wreathed together in mythic and lyrical mystery. Wonderfully written, Joy.

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  6. Your opening line speaks right to the heart of where I am now. At times I feel there is nothing salvaged from my falling apart, yet I've puzzle pieced myself into some semblance of living. Losing Dawn has me floating an ocean trying to not drown amongst all the memories, the good things she left me with. I tell myself daily to keep my head above the water, breathe, live the joy she had even when she was besieged with the monsters who ravaged her body.

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    1. I know, Susie, I know. It's hard. Grief is a ravager, and sometimes the happy memories cut deeper than the sad. But they're the best of what we have left, and I hope in the end bring a kind of peace.

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  7. This is beautiful, Joy, and I love the way the poem is boat-shaped like your witchboat. I love the "casting off" feeling of the ending. It has a lovely feeling of letting go of past pain <3

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  8. I'll visit Point Reyes again before too long, Joy, and take a picture, or maybe, if the muse so deems, make a word-picture for you. ~

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    1. I would love that. Sometimes I still ache for California...among other aches.; ) Longer reply at your comment on Last Light

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"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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