Friday, January 27, 2012

From the German.

I'm stuck. I should be working on "All Things Being Equal," (that is the agreement I made with myself) but I fear it may be completely unsalvageable. So, to fuck around and waste time productively, I took four texts translated from the German--Heidegger's "Letter on Humanism," Goethe's Faust, Rilke's Duino Elegies, and the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm--and plugged them into eGnoetry to try to make some interesting novel connections. What follows are the raw results, the turbulent flow. I may set straight quotes from the works to act as attractors, or I might build it around memories of a German girlfriend many years ago. Or I might just forget about it, because I already have too many unfinished long poems. Who knows? Anyway ...

This was morbidly anxious to know. I felt
this difficulty in silence. It's all,

I stepped leisurely
across the life -- or two who lifted a
capital -- normal from head was thinking of
having lost sight; this -- the
I had been planning to
his hands, and sealed his.

I proposed a singleness of nightmares. The manager,
wild and devil, almost
certain I had become a foolish
faces. I had nothing,
four pilgrims in a wonder. I saw
the passing away quick, nor I did not so.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Juvenilia: A Prayer

This poem, under the title "A Prayer From Hell," won me second prize in a contest put on by a minor literary journal in 1996. I was pretty proud of that. It has the same excesses and weaknesses you can see in my current work. More or less. When I was applying to graduate schools and considering attempting to gain entry into a creative writing program, I consulted with one of my undergrad professors about a stack of poems, this one included. He suggested lopping the last few lines off, and I think he was correct. I am including them here as they were published, but running the red line through them, just to let you know. With the whole of the poem, and the constituent parts, as with everything, I am ambivalent.