Thursday, October 12, 2006
A Portrait of the Poet as a Young Man
When I was seventeen I thought I wanted to be a poet. Doesn't everyone? Of course, I discovered that you have to be really very special to stick at it, nurturing the muse over the years. Like John Ahearn. I couldn't write poetry now - my soul is too empty, sucked dry by the years.
Back then I knew I was trying to find something new and different in my writing. I didn't know what it was and I cloaked my ignorance in obscurity. Still, I've been re-reading some of those early poems and I think I made a valiant attempt. They're not much good but I admire my linguistic bravery. Braver then than now, maybe. Here's an example:
There lies latent a past time
in the heavy honey flow of music.....
Against the window
the snow makes music:
beat hard the harsh drums. Beat these drums upon me.
I have lived a thousand rolling years
long in this room, until now the light
retires under the safe music that
charged high with many violent living leaping colours
struts round the room, precedes
ahead, behind and over to
cloud into me
with easy mobility.
I did not wake this morning you know, yet
all this long time the music that paints
the walls cold grey did
not cease dry-flooding me and moved this
the steel-sharp stirrings of the
still-dry hidden seeds of being.
Almost almost almost there
through the music
a clean transfusion
into half-formed images
slipping painfully into me through
mixed and broken memories
that cry out of the music.
Ah, but the music burns down down down now
the endless heavy honey flow of music is
Callow or what? That's my photo to prove it. Laugh as much as you like, I won't mind.