Saturday, July 7, 2012

Poetry is a Form of Substance Abuse

by Donald Revell

It is the right time for hallucinations.
Drowning in a sty, the sailor
feels the ocean’s buoyancy.
Dying in a web, the moth
discards its wings and falls free.

I wish something would put its hands on me,
give me stronger poison and then stronger.
The beautiful flotillas do not stop.
Undying love drifts and delays.
I am capsizing.

Great joy lingers still.
Nothing can be said for suffering.
It is legible only to strangers
and at great distances. It detests
survivors. It drapes gun-carriages

with flowers, lampposts with hanging boys.
It is the right time for hallucinations,
most nakedly of inmost west.
Her death would be less tender now,
dusted over with charity,

a web of useless wings, a shallow sty.
She gave me stronger poison and then stronger.
I miss her.
In the back seat of the taxi,
dark breathlessness says “Hurry, hurry.”


This is my favorite thing I've read lately. Though I also liked all of Rachel Zucker's Museum of Accidents as well. What I feel is an honest view of motherhood and relationships. I feel like I was so shocked by her honesty that I actually read the poems for content. Something I rarely do, or rarely do at first. I will need to read again for sound, which is the important thing. Also to see how she incorporates prose blocks within some poems (what I'm interested in now, how poets move back and forth between blocks and lineation). 

Anyway, Revell. Here is a link to the Poetry Foundation site that also includes audio of Revell reading Benzene:

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