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All into one space


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All into one space
      after Anne Waldman
Con/Jur/d, 6/10/2021
After all, it’s impossible to argue
with poets, prophets
When I met Anne Waldman
I could still write,
the horizon stretched around
the World, perspective
could travel 360 degrees, 40,075 kilometers and 
21 centimeters, back to
where we are looking, easy
Before everything, everyone
was frozen behind glass
Even her poem, How to Write, is the same,
identical, everywhere
we’re compressed flat, in the airport,
in my paper-strewn office, walking down the
just in time, I freeze
wait for my Soul to return, feet on separate steps
I don’t tumble
How many times a day do we compress
lose our molecular mass?
Pressed beyond a first, second, or third draft,
overwritten, illegible, 
They’re doing their best  to make us all surface,
with no depth,
Pictures don’t die. They just decay
Sometimes the power goes out 
they blink, cease to exist
without pain, boredom, suffering
I’ve been assured as soon as the
the solar fields, and the Sun Drill Platform,
are finished, trademarked,
copywrote,  branded
we’ll be back as bright as before,
brighter where the shadows are deeper,
the Sun fails to shine
On the other side of this mirror, I’m crying
I know you are too
No matter how simple, true 
these human emotions,
the festival of words are complicated,
shiny, colorful, embedded, and squished
together in this petri-dish,
where we can be easily manipulated
Drugs remind us we’re in charge,
although, we need the Artists 
to seize control,
help prop up the roof,
hollow out a space for the living,
apply paint thick and thin,
to every object-emitting gravity,
no matter how weak, and
to write words,
fleshing out the rocks and the trees and the sand
the roads, and paths, outside here,
and music, yes music
rolling through the air
roiling our bodies,
manifesting in space
this space
Where we write
When she first read
What her voice and hand said
in 1968, 
is the same space,
now as it was then
Careful! Don’t stumble

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"They’re doing their best  to make us all surface,
with no depth,"

and "we need the artists to seize control again".

Yes, to everything.

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This reads like a tribute, and I like it -- appreciate the link. Most intriguing would be

What her voice and hand said
in 1968, 

and that it

is the same space,
now as it was then ...

Same as it ever was,


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Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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David W. Parsley

Hi Doc, I was sure at the beginning that this piece was going to be your version of Coleridge's, "Dejection: An Ode" - an appeal to lost creativity and insight, feelings that once powerfully moved the author but now are mere whisperings.  But no.  This is the poetic realization of an entire culture's crisis of emotional freedom, the yearning to emerge from the shadow of oppressive anxiety into fullness of experience and expression, the need to resume those most resilient of coping mechanisms in art, music and song.

Very Nice!
- David

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If this piece were an emulation of Anne Waldman (I checked the link), I must say it is successful. In tone, in diction, in flow, and structure. The central image that stayed with me is the stairs where the N waited for his soul to return, and not stumble. It stood in contrast at the admonition at the end.


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"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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