Monday, March 23, 2015

Poem of the Week

For this week, I wanted to focus on a poem by Diane Wakoski.

Inside Out

I walk the purple carpet into your eye
carrying the silver butter server
but a truck rumbles by,
                      leaving its black tire prints on my foot
and old images          the sound of banging screen doors on hot   
             afternoons and a fly buzzing over the Kool-Aid spilled on   
             the sink
flicker, as reflections on the metal surface.

Come in, you said,
inside your paintings, inside the blood factory, inside the   
old songs that line your hands, inside
eyes that change like a snowflake every second,
inside spinach leaves holding that one piece of gravel,
inside the whiskers of a cat,
inside your old hat, and most of all inside your mouth where you   
grind the pigments with your teeth, painting
with a broken bottle on the floor, and painting
with an ostrich feather on the moon that rolls out of my mouth.

You cannot let me walk inside you too long inside   
the veins where my small feet touch
You must reach inside and pull me
like a silver bullet
from your arm.

I wrote a paper on Wakoski's work a couple years ago. Her use of imagery including the moon and the stars continues to fascinate me. She is a pivotal poet, although not much is said about her often in the canon. She was still incredibly moving and powerful.

The sound of this poem absolutely amazes me. Lines like "inside the whiskers of a cat, inside your old hat," sound so amazingly songlike. I hope that someday I can write similarly to her practice. 
The image of a black tire print and spilled colorful Kool aid also spurs my imagination. I smell and imagine the exact location. This is very typical of Wakoski's poetry, she delves into minuscule scenes and tears apart almost every image you could think of. This definitive exploration and expulsion of ordinary situations provides the reader with tremendous insight.
How and why do we view the world the way we do? Why do we pass by beautiful situations and scenes on a daily basis? I believe that through poems such as these, Diane Wakoski is urging us to slow down. To allow ourselves to see the humanity and brilliance in environments we take for granted.
Another thing I wanted to mention about Wakoski's poetry is her dedicated repetition of images and motifs. And when I say repetitive, I mean really, lovingly repetitive. Symbols of and relating to the moon reoccur throughout years of her poetry anthologies; from the first to the last.
She also repeats the same image of a man on a motorcycle (who upon my research happened to be a man that brutally broke Diane's heart). However in her poetry she never explicitly says  this, it is far more delightfully implied. I adore that in her poetry. Her immense consistency and unique train of thought.
I am often drawn to her work when having writer's block of my own. I highly encourage you guys to check her out and learn to love her like I did.

And remember, slow it down guys:) Whether you're walking to the train, or taking the dog for a walk. Allow your mind to see and engage with everything around you. FEEL the environment as it moves around you.
You'll mirror this energy and also energize yourself when expanding your perspective so vastly.
Alright, enough of the hippie self talk. I'll let y'all be.
Much love,

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