Saturday, April 12, 2014


I've got two poets in my heart & often in my back pocket - they're enough for me. Auden & Emily Dickinson. Found this poem I wrote about Auden - did it long enough ago that I have no memory of it. but I don't entirely dislike it. It comes from back when I apparently had poetic ambitions. Don't have those anymore, thank heavens.


The sense of danger must not disappear:
The way is certainly both short and steep,
However gradual it looks from here;
Look if you like, but you will have to leap.

W.H. Auden, from Leap Before You Look



Constant cigarettes, amphetamines: conniving
courtesan of clarity - Puritan and bawdy - fine
and tender British mess: this Wystan Auden!
Countless lines on face and page all freeze with
rage for getting living right - besieging, luring,

curing you like vapors in the night. Shameless
lilting meter, breathing end-rhymes, fleet command
of sonnet and sestina: he played English as
he might have doodled Bach on some loved
concertina, caring little for his fame - but loving

naming landscapes grim as dying, full of wrecked
machinery: obstreperous and kind, he recognized
the flying scenery of human minds, and changed
his every day. I pray I shall not ever praise a sound
for merely being pretty nor mistake a thought for

facile quip - I implore whatever gods induce
the urge to write that I not bore them with one whit
less than my core. If I do, please choke me with
the ghost of Wystan Auden's cigarette smoke
curling and entwining from his cool unyielding lip.



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