Not To Mention The Lost Works of Shakespeare and Ovid
I lost three separate poems today.
Each disappeared from different rooms
in ordinary circumstances, leaving behind
but the haziest trace of precious
detail, beloved turn of phrase, and oh
the imagery – erotic swans, dissolute gods
and a winding? Curving? Twisting?
Possibly undulating? Worn asphalt road…
Hadley left Ernest’s stories on a train.
So did Lawrence- Seven Pillars
on the way to London. Dylan Thomas
and Robert Ludlum lost theirs in bars.
Last Day of the Dead I devoted
an altar to lost manuscripts
A dozen poets left scraps of verse
half- buried in its sand.
Usually author error
sends lost works into limbo
the way most airplane accidents
are due to pilots suffering stress,
malaise, exhaustion, stupidity, inebriation –
failings shared by poets whose flights
of imagination sometimes tumble
inadvertently into wastebaskets
or go down in flames fueled by haste,
despair, carelessness or jealousy.
I’m mad at myself this morning,
mourning my lost creations as if
words in their millions do not circle
the firmament creating endless
constellations, novel configurations.
I’d better write a poem.
I just returned from the Poetry Festival at Round Top. We heard about it last year at AIPF, Austin’s poetry festival. Someone told us it was the best kept secret on the poetry circuit. Perhaps, I shouldn’t spill the beans, but its too good not to share. Besides, Texas Highways has written a gorgeous article about it, with which I happily concur.
The event takes place every year at Festival Hill, an amazing vision-made-manifest by James Dick and his family, friends, volunteers and patrons. It was and still is an idea in the making. Like all effective magical workings, it backed intention with practice. For every idea, hands carved another piece of the ceiling, poured another slab, laid another stone or installed another window. The pianist whose talented fingers provided the funds, himself, hewed, carved, schlepped wood, water and stone with those self-same hands to create a concert hall of unique beauty that echoes all year to music and, for one intense weekend, to the voice of poetry. Here’s the lineup of featured poets: Robert Hass, Terrance Hayes, Dorianne Laux, Dunya Mikhail, Maurice Manning, Carmen Tafolla, Rosemary Catacalos, William Wenthe and Sasha West. The grounds were beautiful, the food good and bountiful. Every thing happened in a timely manner and good will and intense excitement prevailed.
So of course I was inspired to write! and I did. And as you’ve guessed from my poem, I lost the poems I wrote for NaPoWriMo, whose prompts I took along and accessed via a failing laptop, knowing the muse would be following me around. Not so oddly for me, so was that trickster, Coyote, or maybe he and Muse are one and the same. He’s an old pal. This time he inspired me by disappearing my inspirations. As always, the goal is to get me to take myself less seriously and have more fun. As always, I swear to try, only to hear Yoda’s voice telling me to do instead. So no prompted poem today! Instead a lack of prompt poetry! Cheers!!