Poetry that speaks to me
Though I have been trying to post at least once a week, and this week has been slightly eventful, I haven’t had time to parse exactly what I want to say about it. There are some movie reviews floating around my head, personal revelations y’all probably don’t need to hear, and even local news events, the only thing there doesn’t seem to be is coherent thought and time to write about it all. This week instead of my ramblings, I will give you good writing … someone else’s.
Since December I have been on a poetry binge. In the last few months I have read four poetry collections and any others I come across. Here is one of my recent favorites from Anne Boyer’s collection Garments Against Women.
I will leave no memoir, just a bitch’s Maldoror. There’s a man. He tells me he does not like the version of the story in which he is like Simon Legree who ties me down to the railroad tracks. This is because he is like Simon Legree who ties me down tot he railroad tracks. He is the man who looks at the blue sky and says, “Do not remember this blue sky as blue.”
I look with my eyes at the blue sky and see that it is blue, then also I look with my eyes at him and make a note to not remember the blue sky as blue. I make a note, also, to remember the proclamation, by him, against the color of the sky. I make a note, also, that I will have known the sky was blue, then I will have been told to forget what I know about the sky and probably did. I make a note to doubt the legibility of any of these notes for these are notes about people who together believe a human sentence — one spoken by a man and heard by a woman — can commute the blueness of the sky itself.
That I would walk outside each day and see a blue sky would mean whatever. That so many years I have seen blue skies does not make the blue sky on that day blue.
There’s an equal, independent truth that exists along with the sky itself: this is what he says against it. In this, he is like some other men: commanding. The sky can exist as a knowable color. But the commands of such men are equally persistent and knowable, too.
Despite the reality of the sky, that is blue, a woman with any interior is trumped by a man with any exterior. Or that is what I read in the notes: event he color of the sky is stable only as long as it has a man’s proof.
This is just one available story. I have so far been able to construct twenty two. I have been able to tell myself twenty two hundred stories while tied down to the railroad tracks by the lovers who says he is like Simon Legree in order that he will not be in the version of the story in which he is like Simon Legree.
I suspect, like many humans in this cultures, I have seen more commands of men then I have seen the sky itself. Of the two realities — the one of the sky, empirical and a color, and the one of the man who insists upon telling another person what she has seen with her own eyes of the sky is not real — I have arrived at the man’s.
I have been reading about him in books: “I do not know, of all that, what was attractive about this person; but I immediately felt it was a very simple matter to love such a man.”