HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all Men and Women Blessed by Wings in a Similar Fix!


……………………………………………………….Wifredo Lam, Gravure, Uno, 1967

.

………………HE MISTAKES HER KINGDOM FOR A HORSE

………………………………He heard horses
………………………………when she meant writing,

………………………………he heard sweat,
………………………………the creamy lather where

………………………………the taut skin
………………………………works against the leather.

………………………………He heard writing
………………………………when she meant

………………………………riding her journal,
………………………………the words a broad back

………………………………beneath her, pressed
………………………………up and caught between

………………………………her long phrases and the
………………………………need to be heard by him,

………………………………the naked verb,
………………………………the taut joy ridden

………………………………but prepositional,
………………………………the taut thorn,

………………………………a word, a horse
………………………………working between them.

……………………………………..      Christopher Woodman
…………………………………………. The Beloit Poetry Journal, Fall Issue, 2009
………………………………………….  2010 Pushcart Prize Nomination

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…………..Sunrise at Bhatam,” Ubonrajathani, Thailand. Photograph (2009). …………..Sam Kalayanee, Co-Producer, ‘Burma VJ’ (Oscar Nomination).
…………..Christmas greetings from New Delhi. www.imagesasiamedia.com

1 Comment

  1. thomasbrady said,

    December 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Christopher,

    If my poetry is song, yours is art.

    Writing never seemed so poignantly sexy as in this poem of yours.

    I’ve been thinking recently of a new trope by which to divide mankind: oration v. cogitation. There are those who earn their bread by speaking, and others who earn their bread by thinking. Emerson sold tickets to his lectures; he wasn’t selling books, per se, until he was in his 40s, and even then, not many. Emerson’s income was from his talking (also he inherited money when his first wife, who was ill when he married her, died). A rock star sells tickets so an audience can hear his oration. Paul McCartney is considered ‘a poet’ by some, but it’s Paul’s concerts, his oration, which butters his bread.

    The poet as orator is a tenuous idea, however, since most poets dream of being read, not holding forth in front of an audience. Poetry is typically thought of as something which doesn’t need to succeed “live.”

    The whole Emerson/Poe split which stands a giant gulf in American Letters that Harold Bloom made so much of when he reviewed Poe’s collected works 25 years ago, seems to embody this: Emerson, the political agitator, preacher, lecturer, and Poe, the cogitating wizard, earning his living almost entirely from his writing and his inventions.

    Writing can seep in anywhere, but the orator needs a friendly audience. Emerson never spoke in the South. When Poe came up to Boston to speak, he bombed with the press. After rock stars stop touring, it’s usually downhill, or, they change their oratorical styles and try to be more sincere, and are rejected by fickle ears.

    Shelley mourned that when the strings are broken, the song is dead forever.

    We can descant on anything, but what if all that we descant upon is lies?

    Plato said the greatest poets were philosophers who discover unchanging laws and, of course, he didn’t think too highly of seductive singing.

    Your poem is very much about writing, not speaking or singing, and yet it is such a sensual expression of two people communicating. The “heard” in your poem is not so much hearing a song as it is understanding a word and the whole remarkable trope follows from that.

    Thomas