A poem for a sunny, cold Tuesday

I haven't read much poetry in a while. Got my hands on a montagecollection in Ecuador. (It can be tricky or really expensive to find books in English down here). Anyway here's one that made me particularly happy. I woke up thinking about it this morning.

A Display of Mackerel

They lie in parallel rows,
on ice, head to tail,
each a foot of luminosity

barred with black bands,
which divide the scales'
radiant sections

like seams of lead
in a Tiffany window.
Iridescent, watery

prismatics: think abalone,
the wildly rainbowed
mirror of a soapbubble sphere,

think sun on gasoline.
Splendor, and splendor,
and not a one in any way

distinguished from the other
--nothing about them
of individuality. Instead

they're all exact expressions
of one soul,
each a perfect fulfillment

of heaven's template,
mackerel essence. As if,
after a lifetime arriving

at this enameling, the jeweler's
made uncountable examples,
each as intricate

in its oily fabulation
as the one before.
Suppose we could iridesce,

like these, and lose ourselves
entirely in the universe
of shimmer--would you want

to be yourself only,
unduplicatable, doomed
to be lost? They'd prefer,

plainly, to be flashing participants,
multitudinous. Even now
they seem to be bolting

forward, heedless of stasis.
They don't care they're dead
and nearly frozen,

just as, presumably,
they didn't care that they were living:
all, all for all,

the rainbowed school
and its acres of brilliant classrooms,
in which no verb is singular,

or every one is. How happy they seem,
even on ice, to be together, selfless,
which is the price of gleaming.

Here's an essay by Mark Doty on his mackerel poem:
Though things are generally way nicer before you overexplain them to death. That goes for poetry, love, patience, inner light, what have you.

But here's a great line from the essay, something for thought to munch on... "A poem is always a made version of experience." I have to add memory to that list of made experience.

1 comment:

Maximiliano said...

Encontré este sitio sin querer. Y me ha sorpendido gratamente.


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