Saturday, March 17, 2012

Poetic Saturdays: Witches Dance at Midnight

My poems (yes, I've been insanely prolific recently) over the past week or so have been inspired by the Art Institute of Chicago and my trip to Chicago with Tammy for the 2012 AWP Conference. Something about airport terminals and Tammy and art and cities and people gets my brain firing on all cylinders. And then we topped it off by watching Midnight in Paris when we returned home. Sigh.

witches dance at midnight, by Robert Lee Brewer

bid farewell to the day that has passed and
welcome the day as it begins. say, we'll
be ready when you finish. cackle with
pleasure. cast spells in the darkness without
worrying over good or bad. command
the earth and the fire. obey the whispers
of children and tempt the hearts of lovers.
hover over their houses as they sleep.


Newer Book:

Duties of the Spirit
by Patricia Fargnoli (Tupelo Press)

Tupelo Press publishes some of the nicest looking poetry collections around, and Patricia Fargnoli is perhaps their best poet. The former Poet Laureate of New Hampshire, Fargnoli has a style that slices into the heart of the heart of the situation. One of my favorite poems by anyone (yes, anyone) is in this collection: "The Undeniable Pressure of Existence." In this poem, the narrator watches a fox running by the side of the road past the everyday and familiar sights of human existence (Jim's Pizza, the Wash-O-Mat) and the narrator watches from her moving car, "...certain he was beyond / any aid, any desire to save him, and he ran loping on, / far out of his element, sick, panting, starving, / his eyes fixed on some point ahead of him, / some possible salvation / in all this hopelessness, that only he could see." Amazing!


Poems Found Online:

Older Book:

A Coney Island of the Mind: Poems
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (New Directions)

I remember picking up this collection at a used bookstore--without any previous knowledge of who Ferlinghetti was--and reading these lines: "In Goya's greatest scenes we seem to see / the people of the world / exactly at the moment when / they first attained the title of / 'suffering humanity' ..." My gosh, I was hooked from there to the end. Are these perfect poems? No. Would they all find homes in the big lit journals today (if Ferlinghetti were a struggling unknown poet)? Heck, no. But these poems capture a time and a place--and their power still speaks to the hearts of poets today.


Note: Links in this post to books are affiliate links. However, I do not mention these books to make a profit. They are either books I'm connected to or ones I truly love. All other links in this post are not affiliate links.


Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Sign up for free e-mail updates from this blog in the top right-hand corner of the page.


Check out previous Poetic Saturdays posts:


Patricia Fargnoli said...

wow, Robert! Thank you for this. I'm so glad you like that book and especially that you like that poem (foxes are my totem)



Jean Michelle Miernik said...

Your poem is saucy and magical! Traveling gets me creatively jacked, too. There is something about the surreality of flying around the world (especially via Detroit's "acid trip tunnel" at the McNamara terminal) that makes my brain move in metaphor.

Nice work.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thank you for the wonderful poetry, Pat! Hope you're doing well. (And I've always had a special place for Foxes, since I'm descended from the Fox family.)

Jeannie, I would've never dreamed Detroit could have such a wild airport experience--until I had a connecting flight there once. That "acid trip tunnel" is something else. Thanks for the comment!