Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Stab At It

I don't want to be a poet, as it's reckoned.
Don't want interviews. Don't want “A Life,”
prim or dirty. My life is just a life.
I don't want to drone, and be the spill
that yet more flies cluster to, flies of
“am I good enough?” or “will they want me now?”

(You'll never be good enough, they'll never want you.
Say “screw them!” and get on.)

Only, when the fog snags in the doug firs
over across the river there, like the veil
of an exasperated bride, shrugged off
and dragged across the caterer's table, catching on
the prickly knobs of condiment containers --

No, start again. When the silvered fog threads
through the clotted awkward limbs of douglas firs,
and radio towers lift their slender necks to heaven,
their single crimson eyes gazing right at God's --

No, not quite it. When that white gauze coils,
spotted with bright dots of blood, and climbs
the West Hills to the tune of rain that never stops,
to the sough of wind that never steadies --

Well, closer. But you see, I like to take a stab it it.
That's all.


Deb said...


And to the poem subject, too.

Dale said...

:-) thanks, Deb.

Lucy said...

Keep stabbing.

Kat said...

Yes, yes, keep stabbing. :)

Kristen McHenry said...

Pretty much sums up my approach. Yay for underachieving in poetry!

christopher said...

Yes indeed. I am not trying for any of that recognition stuff, not even clear if I care that anyone reads. Lately my commenters are dropping off but my page hits are climbing hugely. I don't know what to make of it.

ntexas99 said...

dale --- taking a stab at it is essential to being, isn't it?

Please take this next comment as words from someone who knows nothing (because truer words were never written) ... for some reason, the usage of the word "stab" put me in mind of slaughter, and yet your words obviously most often range in the most delicate of spaces, so "stab" and poetry didn't seem to want to sit in the same sentence.

did that make any sense? I suppose not, but my mind was so busy rejecting the word stab, that I almost forgot to appreciate the poetry. almost.

Dale said...

Oh, how interesting, Nancy! (By the way, as far as I'm concerned, any regular user of English is an expert on usage.) -- It's interesting because in my family "take a stab at it" was our standard idiom for "give it a try." Very matter-of-fact. I was trying to re-activate it a little with the radio tower lights figured as drops of blood on gauze -- maybe I succeeded too well :-)

Thanks all!

Christopher, I think you just never know, really, who's reading and what they think of it.

ntexas99 said...

dale - I'm so glad you're you, and that your mind is open to so many different angles ... I love what you said about "succeeded too well" re the drops of blood on gauze, and maybe that imagery is exactly what had me rejecting the word stab so vociferously ... I had to try really hard to ignore the word stab (even though I surely knew you meant "give it a try"), and the harder I tried to ignore it, the louder it kept getting.

Funny what our eyes convey to our brain matter. Maybe I was too busy trying to stop the flow of blood. :-)

Alexandra said...

Dale, this is ridiculous and lovely. your candor, which is so dear to me is completely trumped by "the veil
of an exasperated bride, shrugged off
and dragged across the caterer's table..." That put me completely on the edge of my seat.