March 11, 2009KR BlogUncategorized

Ontology, Orange-Soda Style

Today, I like people who instead of heaving mournful sighs by the side of a river would instead attempt to daintily traverse a log laid across its banks.

Or people who abideth evenings alone by imitating those mice with the inner ear problem–who are compelled to leave their little nests and spin and dance each dusk.

Today, I especially like people who are not authorities on sadness. I mean, people whose sad poems aren’t sad, “masterful” poems. That is to say, dear Robert Lowell, as a young Bostonian, oh how I loved you–to the point where, when you would ask, “What use is my sense of humor?”, I would nod, diligently…. Now? I long for a sense that each line wasn’t so weighted and packaged–a sense that each line really is waking in the blue.

Today, I like the seemingly none-too-crafted eruptions that might only coincidentally rhyme:


Or to try another tack…(What exactly am I getting at?)

Dear T.S. Eliot, how very smart is your objective correlative! I probably don’t even understand half of it.

Still, I have a feeling that today I wouldn’t like it.

Today, I would like the complete inadequacy of the external to the emotion!

For instance, how about the Holocaust for a father-daughter dance, or the Out-Patients’ Dept for a soul?

Vanessa Place writes, in Dies, “the subjective correlative, would you not agree, highly carbonates ontology.”

Dear Vanessa Place, do you like Stevie Smith? Sylvia Plath? That two-word interjection towards the end of “One Art” (write it!)?

For about a year now, if I try to write a tercet, a quatrain, anything that looks neat, perhaps authoritative–any poem that looks to have any sort of aesthetic value–it seems ridiculous, to me, for me.

Stevie Smith, in “The Donkey,” writes, “No hedged track lay before this donkey any longer / But for the sweet prairies of anarchy.

And when I look sadly back on Robert Lowell, and shake my head at his lack of levity, I don’t mean humor, or only humor exactly, but levity as in a lightness to the craft (is that paradoxical?)–a light touch to the lines, so that I can be fooled to think the words are simply falling out of the frail poet’s mouth, so that I can be moved:

As from this levity’s / Flowering pang of melancholy / May grow what is weighty / May come beauty

(from “The Poet Hin“)