Sunday, August 6, 2017


To My Poet Friends on an American Holy Day

Ally, your new manuscript
is a candle inside
my heart to keep loss away
even a blub is not enough
to say how much those words
meant as the scraped against
memory and bone

but I appreciate all the manuscripts
I recently finished advances of Borczon and Clevenger
deep riots felt in the ridges of the heart

I think of poems Nikki, Renee
and I construct via text
I think of Julio’s birthday greetings
his request that if I had any
wishes he would happily drop
them in the Grand Canyon for me

We gathered as friends yesterday
an American holy day
laughing, sharing
a little heavy from the drink
its always a joy hear Silsbe’s work
today its his New Kids on the Block story
complete with lascivious dancing
and self-groping, or Pajich
the way he vibrates when
he tells stories, or to have Irwin’s
hand on my shoulder to steady
himself as he laughs in that
distinct staccato way or
Collins quiet calm turning every poem
into an ocean you’ll never see all of

I consider voice often, the auditory
illusions that may or may not be
I read every day even if
it’s a poem or two online
maybe one of Grochalski gruff right hooks
or Benger’s trailer park psalms
or some deep voice of the past
say William Wantling or Jack Micheline
Li Po or Hikmet, so many more
so many people inspire me

I read now because I can’t be without
those voices
those voices steer me
keep me steady

It seems to me those voices
weird and disparate, my poet friends
these oddball mystic wanderers
in every corner of this bloated
dying experiment of America
we shout
some deep consciousness
some lost empathy
we want others to believe
this America is appropriation
of a dream, it is not the America
we should ever believe it should be

--Jason Baldinger

No comments: