Tuesday (Poetry, The Pope, and Photographs) Musings

Today I went to Starbucks and worked on my poetry. It felt great. I’ve decided that I’ve got to start managing my time better. This summer was dreadful in terms of writing and it is my fault. Beginning this week, I’m turning over a new leaf. I know all this comes with graduating from MFA and no longer having a structured writing/reading schedule. I’ve got to do it myself.

In lieu of my renewed commitment, I read the June issue of Poetry this morning. Out of the entire issue, I found two poems I liked and they were both by the Greek poet A.E. Stallings.


The tulips make me want to paint,

Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,
Something about their burnt-out hearts,
Something about their pallid stems
Wearing decay like diadems,
Parading finishes like starts,

Something about the way they twist
As if to catch the last applause,
And drink the moment through long straws,
And how, tomorrow, they’ll be missed.

The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,

The one who can’t tell left from right),
Glance now over the wrong shoulder
To watch them get a little older
And give themselves up to the light.

A Mother’s Loathing of Balloons

I hate you,
How the children plead
At first sight—
I want, I need,
I hate how nearly
Always I
At first say no,
And then comply.
(Soon, soon
They will grow bored
Clutching your
Umbilical cord)—

Over the moon,
Should you come home,
They’d cease to care—
Who tugs you through
The front door

On a leash, won’t want you
And will forget you
On the ceiling—
A giddy feeling—
Later to find you,
Puckered, small,
Crouching low

Against the wall.
O thin-of-skin
And fit to burst,
You break for her
Who wants you worst.
Your forebear was

The sack of the winds,
The boon that gives
And then rescinds,
Containing nothing
But the force
That blows everyone

Off course.
Once possessed,
Your one chore done,

You float like happiness
To the sun,
Untethered afternoon,

Marooning all
You’ve left behind:

Their tinfoil tears,
Their plastic cries,
Their wheedling
And moot goodbyes,
You shrug them off—
You do not heed—
O loose bloom
With no root
No seed.

This second one is especially brilliant. I love that line “they will grow bored/clutching your/umbilical cord.” However, the rest of the issue I found lacking. There was one poem in particular that got on my nerves a bit. It was “Agape” by Timothy Murray. To be fair, the poem wasn’t what bugged me. I liked the poem well enough, although not as much as Stalling’s poems. It was the note at the end of the poem that bothered me. First, the note was about as long as the poem. Second, this poem apparently came to the author in a dream from which he awoke and typed it into the form we see in Poetry. Forgive me for being the cynic, but what? Also, what Pope John Paul said to the author, Te Dominus amat (God loves you), seems lacking. To be perfectly frank, the note at the bottom of the poem seems to be more interesting than the poem itself.

I took my camera and went for a walk in Broad Ripple today. Here are some photos from that walk._____________________________________________________________________

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