Monday, March 30, 2009


Look at that title. I know that word turns people off. I'm sure there were people who say that on their subscriptions list and blazed right on past, glad to not get bogged down in choppy lines they think they won't understand in the end.

Well...there's something in me that is drawn to that word. I love poetry in nature and in conversation, in prose and music and fate. And illustration: A long time ago, probably at least five years, I was in Union Station under the streets of Chicago, and I spied this guy:

The first things I noticed were his glasses and the back of his neck...both kind of sexy. And then I saw he was writing. Even sexier. There was a small column of writing along the left margin of the page, and I couldn't describe how badly I wanted to see what it was. Poetry. An insight into what was going on in his mind. Words. Raw and unexplained. And I wanted them.

I still look at this photo and lament the fact that I can't recall what it was the page said--that I never will know what it looked like when it was finished.

The sexiest thing anyone ever did for me was write a poem about me. They read it to me over the phone. I can't recall what it said, but I remember the feeling. And I'll probably never see a copy of it. But that's how poetry works. It's a feeling that settles in your bones, something that stitches you into the fabric of the universe for a moment and makes your head nod in time to the pulsing of the stars. Yes.

Today, this poem was posted on this blog. It resonated with me, so I made a copy. I certainly hope you can give it a moment of your time. Nod with me.

Meditation on Ruin

by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom brawl,
or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.


It's poetry.



Argent said...

A great big resounding Amen my brother. Your words were just excellent today. I love poetry too and that one you found was a gem - going to print it out for offline savouring.

Ric said...

I know how that feels. When I tell people I was graduuated in north american and british literature, people just start fading away. why is that? I find most of my pleasure in writing and reading, but people relate that to weirdness and maybe shame. What a shame! Great website mate, I found you at a fieldjournal.blogspot, that great pinkish blog. Cheers from North Shore, New Zealand.

Ric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ric said...

my profile is not available, so you can find me at

Linda Pendleton said...

Poetry is the language of feelings and intuition. As such, it structures the feelings and intuitions of the inner world in a form that can be apprehended by the outer world.

Argent said...

By the way, forgot to say: like the picture too - does Poetry Guy know you took his picture? And: do you have any poems of your own to share?

Viewtiful_Justin said...

Poetry guy does not know I took his photo. But it was years and years ago, so...

And, I do have some poems of my own. A few weeks back I had one with a photo of the top of an old Episcopal church in Galena. I think there may have been one below that.

A human kind of human said...

How accurate poetry can be! I must admit, I do not always understand poetry (serious lack in my education I guess), but I do like reading poems for the rythm (it sometimes sounds like music when read aloud) they contain. A while ago I sat in front of my computer and wrote down some rambling impressions and was so surprised when some very nice people called it a poem - Wow! So maybe I do have poetry in me, just wish I had someone to teach me how to get it out!