Ars Poetica after Adrienne Rich
And this, beloved poets
is where our hearts, livers, and lights still
dwell unbeknownst and vital
Some ponder colors for a new wall
and the lemon oil gleam of their pecan table.
For us, it’s enough most mornings to have walls
of whatever color was left and if no table,
the counter or that cheap desktop she wrote of.
Our brother paints his wallsMission White. He has always
been on a mission to cover up.
Our sister’s mission is distance.
Ours, to praise and bitch.
There’s, of course, poetry:
awful bridge rising over naked air
Or worse, over water, like the interminable bridge
of the New York Throughway I will myself
to get on, get along, get over,
no drugs like an aunt takes to manage
the short span in New Hampshire.
I practice the no pink elephants trick,
in this case, the no Oakland Bay Bridge
collapse of tangled trusses, no massive
crunches of cars. I replace them
with all those driving lyrics of the sixties
and seventies when I worked in a record store
and did not drive: move on down, move on down,
and even the Beatles version of “Roll Over Beethoven.”
Poetry like that. Gliding over the Hudson, splashing
down to tread frigid water
in a lifejacket of lines,
alone or with passengers,
one warbling, “Nearer My God To Thee,”
five Deadheads doing, “Day Tripper.”