poem as place we are finally safe in – creeley


And tonight I have lost myself in Robert Creeley:

“I write to realize the world as one has come to live in it, thus to give testament. I write to move in words, a human delight. I write when no other act is possible.” Asked about “good” poems, Creeley, who had written in the introduction to Best American Poetry 2002 that the poem is “that place we are finally safe in” where “understanding is not a requirement. You don’t have to know why. Being there is the one requirement,” responded, “If one only wrote ‘good’ poems, what a dreary world it would be.”

The time is.
The air seems a cover,
the room is quiet.
She moves, she
had moved. He
heard her.
The children
sleep, the dog fed,
the house around them
is open, descriptive,
a truck through the walls,
lights bright there,
glaring, the sudden
roar of its motor, all
familiar impact
as it passed
so close. He
hated it.
But what does she answer.
She moves
away from it.
In all they save,
in the way of his saving
the clutter, the accumulation
of the expected disorder—
as if each dirtiness,
each blot, blurred
happily, gave
purpose, happily—
she is not enough there.
He is angry. His
face grows—as if
a moon rose
of black light,
convulsively darkening,
as if life were black.
It is black.
It is an open
hole of horror, of
nothing as if not
enough there is
nothing. A pit—
which he recognizes,
familiar, sees
the use in, a hole
for anger and
fills it
with himself,
yet watches on
the edge of it,
as if she were
not to be pulled in,
a hand could
stop him. Then
as the shouting
grows and grows
louder and louder
with spaces
of the same open
silence, the darkness,
in and out, him-
self between them,
stands empty and
holding out his
hands to both,
now screaming
it cannot be
the same, she
waits in the one
while the other
moans in the hole
in the floor, in the wall.
Is there some odor
which is anger,
a face
which is rage.
I think I think
but find myself in it.
The pattern
is only resemblance.
I cannot see myself
but as what I see, an
object but a man.
with lust for forgiveness,
raging, from that vantage,
secure in the purpose,
double, split.
Is it merely intention,
a sign quickly adapted,
shifted to make
a horrible place
for self-satisfaction.
I rage.
I rage, I rage.
You did it,
and didn’t want to,
and it was simple.
You were not involved,
even if your head was cut off,
or each finger
from its shape until it broke,
and you screamed too
with the other, in pleasure.
Face me,
in the dark,
my face. See me.
It is the cry
I hear all
my life, my own
voice, my
eye locked in
self sight, not
the world what
ever it is
but the close
breathing beside
me I reach out
for, feel as
warmth in
my hands then
returned. The rage
is what I
want, what
I cannot give
to myself, of
myself, in
the world.
After, what
is it—as if
the sun had
been wrong to return,
again. It was
another life, a
day, some
time gone, it
was done.
But also,
the pleasure, the
even in what
was so hated.
All you say you want
to do to yourself you do
to someone else as yourself
and we sit between you
waiting for whatever will
be at last the real end of you.”

“Anger is an energy…”

Photo (“Anger will consume me”) (c) 2008 Tommaso Meli

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