Dedicated to artists, musicians and poets from Anthony Earnshaw to Frank Zappa via Sylvia Plath and Osip Mandelstam among others. These poems are acts of homage, solidarity and praise for many who lead inspiring but troubled lives or simply did not conform to the expectations of authority.
Death is a funny kind of jazz.
Like poetry it gets you nowhere:
no money; prestige, not much;
just something you do.
Like standing mid-stream
in a river of humanity
on the Washington Avenue Bridge
overlooking the Mississippi.
All I wanted was a period of silence
and prose. But the river calls me
to poetry and other impossible
situations. What's left now is rage.
Rage and love. Like Yeats
in those last days outbursting
his Irish luck, that hard-earned
ambitious kind of luck.
The more you call on Him
the more God drains you
like a whiskey bottle; you feel
yourself emptying as you fall.
He holds onto you with white-knuckled
boney fingers as you float downstream.
He's there when you're washed up
on Christ knows what thankless shore.
No Heroic Death
Nobody even imagines how well one can lie about the state of one's own heart.
- Yukio Mishima, Thirst for Love (1950)
Of course it hurts when buds break / Why else would springtime hesitate?
- Karin Boye, 'Ja visst gör det ont' (1935)
I am true Love, I fill the hearts of boy and girl
with mutual flame. Then sighing,
said the other, have thy will,
I am the Love that
'Lieve I'll jump
in de river eighty-nine
feet deep. Cause de river-
quiet an' a po', po' gal can sleep.
© 2017 Andy Boobier