Thursday, November 04, 2010

Impermanence Poems

It's November, which for novelists means NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, and for poets means PAD chapbook challenge - Poem a Day. I started doing this a couple of years ago after doing Poem a Day during the month of April - National Poetry Month - and last year I finished a chapbook (which hasn't been published but I love it none the less) on native place names of Wisconsin. Quite a few of the poems went into my finished poetry book manuscript Family Matters (NYP).

It's great. For once I can receive a prompt instead of giving one and respond to it according to what is in my head. I treat it like writing practice, and write spontaneously.

Yesterday's was on "small spaces" or "contained" - and I have been tossing around some ideas in my head ever since I left for Milwaukee at noon. Now looking out over Marquette before dinner with my brother, the pieces are falling together.

Blow Out
after the sculptures of Chakaia Booker in MAM

On my way, I see the usual litter
of semi truck tires shredded and encasing
dead raccoons, railings and other
skins of tire shreds. The thick black
bakes in the sun, and takes me
to the inside of the light and air museum,
where your sculptures of rubber sit heavily
along one hallway. There, the old tires
are just about to expand, to blow out,
curled back with your force of art
into flower and cunt and ball shapes,
screwed, hammered, glued into place.

There is no way to contain the air inside of me
my breath comes ragged
as I drive past the accident
blown out tires a living sculpture.

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