Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Out of the Blue (poem)

If you're looking for British poet unlaureate Simon Armitage's 9/11 poem, "Out of the Blue”, click here. This ain't it—but thanks for stopping by, maybe set yourself a spell and say hi?
Today, as I despaired, out of the blue
a disembodied voice shrieked from the void: 
Write your poetry. What can I say? Admit or deny
that I'm preoccupied trying to conjure up cash,
trying to sell poetry to schools that have no money—
even to match the imperatives of a poetry grant,
or that I'm trying to switch my left brain on

and it just won't go because winter malaise
has addled what's left my right brain as well?
That I am in a drought of my own keeping
or that I am saddened by the sorry state of affairs
in the schools, in the state, the country, in the world,
wondering if I'm going to have to take on menial labor
in order to survive & feeling rather desperate in general
as if suffering were good for art—or a way out.
Does it really boil down to a matter of faith?
Is it as easy as that—when no metaphors will come
and land unbidden on your shoulder
and whisper sweet nothings in your ear.
I want to say: I believe, I believe
though the darkness descends down to my toes
& my fingers stain the keyboard with invisible ink
& anachronisms abound in this technological age
but I'm too tired to wrestle with them
or bitch-slap them into a panacea for this century.

Note Bene (9/2011) Certainly, 9/11 is the backstory for this poem, though I don't name it. 
But if you've a hankering to see Rufus Sewell's marvelous eyes up close and personal, as he recites from Simon Armitage's poem, check out:
Rufus Sewell reads "9/11: Out Of The Blue" Part I That link will take you to the page with all the links to Simon's poem. I can't bear watching the footage even ten years after. The one survivor I knew, a painter, is now dead from brain cancer—from breathing in the poison dust in her Manhattan apartment just a few yards from Ground Zero. No, I can't revisit this, not yet.

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