Pablo Capra’s “Life As A Poet” Vol. 8 sits before me as I write this. It features a picture of a gaunt-looking, vatic Robert Kelly. Inside is a poem by Kelly called “Vetch,” a passage of which goes like this:
I miss you so
when the leaves grow alternate
the berries ripen
so far from my lips
That door leads to another thing.
If you go through it
Only you are not here any more.
But what was the wind called, Daddy?
We called it nothing
it was one more weather
an apple gate
an archaic system of exchane.
If it weren’t for the solids in the world
what would shield us from the look of the sun?
The empty gaze that makes us tremble,
our eyes the feeble answers to that scrutiny.
The house helps us. In its shade
at dawn a structure cherishes the western dew
are you a movie
that you talk that way
language swaying your hips
Capra works in the Beyond Baroque bookstore–an ideal job for a young, aspiring author/publisher. He cast a skeptical (and rightly so) eye at your 51 year old correspondent, and an even more skeptical eye at myself and good friend poet Judith Skillman, veterans of po-biz from at least 1978. “See what you have to look forward to?” I said to Mr. Capra, who chose that moment to begin checking his stock cards. Here’s a Capra poem:
Why do I write “purses,” “tents”?
Tomato the clown screams, “Vertigo!”
in a video his old friend showed me.
Car blasts by my room like a UFO,
already in the future,
throwing out light–
a time-travelling disaster
for the people inside.
Will the pictures turn out right
in my flipbook life?
Or, will they cast long shadows
two different sizes?
How does the world wake again
innocent every morning?
I couldn’t make time stop
so I screamed!
It’s coming from Alaska
to rub it in their faces.
By the gutted gazebo,
a snake like a bracelet
suns its pretty colors
in a glamorous garden.
“Maybe Emily lost it,”
Oly thought. Then it was gone.
Some interesting language. I especially like the “It” coming from Alaska and then leaving the poem. Also liked the abrupt Oly engaged in thinking about Emily. Oh to be young again!
The youngest work in the collection is by the punk poet Ariel Pink, whose punk album “Worn Copy” is available from Paw Track Records. ‘Nuff said, as they say.
For more information about the “Life as a Poet” series–including prices and submission guide, please check out Brass Tacks Press www.lifeasapoet.com, and tell them Ahadada sent you.