Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poetry, Nobel, the stream of life

I have not been posting as I have been pushing in getting a book of poems. I am going to see if I can write a poem a day for the whole of 2112, and think that there is nothing like the present to build the muscles to write. When I heard that Tomas Transtormer won the Nobel prize for his poems, I was affected. Twenty years ago in my writing program in Texas, he was a visiting poet, and very few people went to hear him, then a unknown poet from Sweden. I remember how intrigued by hm I was. He thought in metaphor and tried to capture the flow of life in his quiet poems. He is the first Nobel writer I have touch with a handshake. Now, I look to turn my poems as a testament to life, finding voice for the quiet moments that make living, but seem to be neglected in the course of biography and story. Below is a poem about going out with a group of young fathers and fathers to be from my small group from our church.   

Church Boys’ Night of Beer, Fun and Football

On the table, all the buffalo wings left: one.
And the battered wheels of onions
the diameter and color of a grapefruit left: one.

Of the flatbread, the latest craze, baked with pieces
of shredded Romano and Parmesan left: one.

Though its tomato, olive oil and sweet basil dip
long gone into the tummies of the young
fathers of preschoolers. Fear of appearing
gluttonous to each other left this plethora of ones. 

“Bonding” what a strange way of putting it,
as if stuck by together by Gorilla glue or black
duct tape binding us into a group in front
of a big screen. Hittites, who now only exist
in others’ accounts and archeological digs, would

use just one word to say hello and goodbye
that translates from their dead language into,

“Be alive.”

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