Wednesday, November 28, 2007

THE CRITIC WRITES POEMS

TWO POEMS BY PATRICK JAMES DUNAGAN



“Dear Elaine,”


TWO TAKES ON EQUI

i.
Honey,
it’s just sport.

ii.
Ghostly dark in a fashion
words have of endearment



VOICE

I don’t care so much about
having anything to say.

Each time I start to write the review
I begin a poem, instead.

The other night I heard sexual moans
coming in from the bathroom window

tonight, it’s a baby’s cries, again.
I had thought it gone.

Funny, how strange sounds sound
when you listen all alone.



RIGHT WORDS

This world
is simply

or rather
haphazardly

out of control.
Not that I mind.

An angular
force of
supposed taste—

a tongue
is truer

than harm
allows.
I am.



WHO IS ELAINE EQUI?

Trying to write the value
found in words a woman cares
overnight week by week
conversing with each other as hour
by hour name by name poems
pour out and evening comes
films with voice-over commentaries
is the poetry so different?
Spring arrives with some drizzle
you better believe I love her forms.



CUPID’S CURSE

When I get distracted
I fall in love
it’s so easy to do
you understand
it’s not about desire so much
I fall in love
I do
& it’s easiest
when I get distracted.



THE ART OF FINE REVIEWING

Elaine moves a step ahead
I bring her two steps back.
The poem is what cannot be killed by the translator.
Cooking is an art of translation
added to the normal amount of baggage
burdening the mouths of youth to be fed
forever doing nothing but thinking:
“You must desire.”
The words are never ours to keep.
Just as an honor student caught in the halls without a pass
I live with the shame of it and do not have the energy
of the sun-soaked tomato ripe upon the branch.


** This poem sequence written on the backside pages of the press kit packet included with review copy of Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems by Elaine Equi Coffee House press, 2007. Equi’s words and lines inextricably scattered throughout. **


++++++++++++++++


A Sloop in the Heart of Things

Would a word less is more of
tune down the frankness upon
what Nature grows admire

committing act to memory & a debt
becomes of two, healing pact—
chirping of the birds

fact of acorn born will
a morning walk up Golden Gate
expresses a new century’s hope in parts

to yield revenue in the abstract
a wrong yet to be set right expects
boldness in chirps

honesty the wind accepts
occurs abuzz in
a kiss of foreign sorts

is the world thrust up
to know of nothing
the frame exists

willed to angle
fix corners that withhold
drawing a box out of the whole

admiration the ease of the maker
the imagination of the imagination
in love with shapes of shade

*****

Patrick James Dunagan lives in San Francisco and works in the library at USF. Poems and chapbooks have been published by Auguste Press, Blue Book, Chain, Pompom, and Red Ant Press among others.

1 comment:

Sossy said...

Paddy,

I bow to the excellence of your poetics and cannot fathom a closer connection to the art of being a LAIV and a poet.

Sincerely,
Sossy Pamone