This is from David Shapiro in Poetry Magazine (November, 2011):
“I use postcards because they are a very cheap medium, and I always prefer cardboard to be as interesting as gold, rather than the reverse. Postcards of Rimbaud and Baudelaire can be found as kitsch, and I love all that multiplicity gone up in philosophical smoke. I asked Jasper Johns whether he thought my paintings would last forever and he said ‘Probably not but who cares?’ The greatest fate for them is to appear framed in my favorite artist’s house. Montale heard that Mayakovsky had read his poems, and thus, he said, they had reached their destination.”
Who do you make your work for?
Image: David Shapiro, From Poetry Magazine. More images and full text here.
I can see your face
The lips curling into a frown
The eyes smiling, still.
I can see the lines in your forehead
Remember when you were hungry
And asked to have the music louder.
I can see you listening
Then leaving, for water
I can see the guise of concentration
falling. And the words coming.
I can see your face before you realize
and your face afterwards
when you know that I can see you,
Avoid adjectives of scale.
Dandelion broth instead of duck soup.
Don’t even think you’ve seen a meadow, ever.
The minor adjustments in our equations
still indicate the universe is insane,
when it laughs a silk dress comes out of its mouth
but we never put it on. Put it on.
Cry often and while asleep.
If it’s raw, forge it in fire.
That’s not a mountain, that’s crumble.
If it’s fire, swallow.
The heart of a scarecrow isn’t geometrical.
That’s not a diamond, it’s salt.
That’s not the sky but it’s not your fault.
My dragon may be your neurotoxin.
Your electrocardiogram may be my fortune cookie.
Once an angel has made an annunciation,
it’s impossible to tell him he has the wrong address.
Moonlight has its own befuddlements.
The rest of us can wear the wolf mask if we want
or look like reflections wandered off.
Eventually armor, eventually sunk.
You wanted love and expected what?
A parachute? Morphine? A gold sticker star?
The moment you were born–
you have to trust others because you weren’t there.
The strongest gift I was ever given
was made of twigs.
It didn’t matter which way it broke.
Dean Young’s poetry is like a performance. You can hear the speaking, see the gestures, feel the space inside of his poems. These are tangible feelings.