Thursday, April 30, 2009

poem in your pocket day

Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. It is a day to share poetry with others, maybe those who would not ordinarily read it, in a variety of ways - not just poems in one's pockets (though I find that concept thoroughly charming).

I have to confess - I fall into that category of people who would not ordinarily read poetry. I certainly have read poetry, and I recognize its value, but for the most part . . . it isn't what speaks to me.

So what does speak to me? Don't worry; I am not going to rhapsodize about a perfectly elegant geometric proof or a deviously, deceptively simple physics problem - though those things have their charms as well. I think I am just more attracted to the visual. Color speaks to me, and form speaks to me - it's a big part of why I love knitting so much. I could have stayed at the Peabody Essex Museum for weeks when J and I went last November. During the fall I am simply a hazard on the road: a brilliant yellow tree against an equally brilliant blue sky and I kind of forget where I am.

So, in order to share a poem today, I am posting some of my favorite song lyrics. I like song lyrics a lot - perhaps the poems themselves do not readily give up their rhythms to me, but if you show me those rhythms, I can get it. Even now, the words look a little flat on the page to me, if I'm being honest. But I will share them, and I hope the rhythms come through for you. This song is called "The Dumps," and it's by my current obsession, Elvis Perkins.

And yes, I realize sharing song lyrics would be so much more authentic if I passed them to you in a note in French class, but I'll work with what I've got. :)

The Dumps
The heavens are smiling upon us
The great, white, toothless grin of the newborn and the dying here among us
We are starting the living again
You have stopped your shivering
You won't go to the lake in the mirror again
The sea stops tonight and all her little children are hanging tight
As I have stopped my moon-walking, glad to say
It's oh so tired, and so am I, of stalking yesterday
The past will rust in peace
It's been one lousy couple of months, but now we are coming out of the dumps
And everything is calling our names, though the sunshine units are here to stay
Like Adam makes small talk with Eve on their six-month anniversary
They will go home in separate cars
Yes, they will sleep under separate stars
As the heavens are smiling upon us
The ghost white, shit-eating grin of the newborn and the dying here among us
We are starting the living again