The soul of brevity
Need I say more? That’s the work of poetry right there: knowing when to stand up at your desk, push back your chair and say “my job here is done.”
In my universe, the creation-destruction dance the Hindus honor in the picture of Shiva and traditional Chinese doctors call Sheng and Ko is evident in a few of my activities. In cultivating my postage square of city land, my earthworms eat my vegetable scraps and cast out to me the perfect food for my vegetables. In my writing, my often inscrutable mind churns out images onto a page and then proceeds to rearrange their placement and presentation, scuttling a good deal of what I’ve just written. And as the process goes on, cutting down is often the best way to “build up” a work. It’s a bit like sculpture that way, I suppose.
Some time ago I wrote in this space about the work of small poetry. Short, Fast, and Deadly is the disciplined wild child of the many venues dedicated to the display of such an organism. There are many good ones – too many to name here.
Right Hand Pointing is another standard bearer. It’s poetry that does enough. Have a read of the wonderful new issue. Be sure not to skip “The Note,” penned by the always gracious and very funny Dale Wisely, editor (along with F. John Sharp and
FJ Bergmann). This time, it’s weird.
Small things often do more than big things. Here’s an excerpt from Michael Holmes’ poem, I’d dissolve diamonds:
My message is a silent
have I nowadays?
What does it do for me? It makes me listen for something that insists it’s not there. I’d call that powerful. What does it do for you?