Monday, May 13, 2013

Tuesday Poem - Talking To You by Ken Bolton

Talking To You

It is 2 or 3 o'clock
in the afternoon.

I'm sitting here, reading
O'Hara's poem

the one that begins
"It is 1.55 in Cambridge"

he's at Jimmy's place (I'm

at the desk)

sad &

I am

too &
why not—drinking the

very last
of my bourbon, a drink I have

slowly developed a taste for
(since my

birthday, when I got it,
& now, nearly nine months later)

Julie & Neil).

In this poem
(it seems I'm

to you now)

O'Hara says
what will happen to him?

& what about some
poems he mentions

What about me?
will I ever get given

bourbon again?

& what about the poems I might write?
will they ever get written?

& suddenly
an amazing self pity

'over' me

I could almost have asked
those questions

seriously.  Otis
Rush is

no longer
on the record player

has not been
for hours
though the light on the record player glows

but the
intense sad notes

still 'haunt' the air, & affect the view


the bars
of the street

& factory
across the road, with their

own grid
of wire & bars

on all their windows
—staring back

the sunday traffic, occasionally, roaring past

I get up, & put on
Lou Reed's

'Rock n Roll',
which I love.  It

always makes the bars
seem more

neutrally rigorous
which is

how I'm beginning to feel
now.   I've

always wanted to do something
as good as

'Rock n Roll' though I'm
not doing that now.

but something continuously 'repetitive'
but not static

that moved,
that was

a continuous 'prolongation'
of a single




That's what I tried to do in
Terrific days

though then
I did not know "Rock n Roll" so well

though I must've heard it.
But that was partly my intention.

Something tells me

not to leave this poem,
as I   stand now

drumming on the page
interestingly,  to the intro to

"Sweet Jane", 'torn'
between the feeling

that I have
nothing to say,

& that
—if I leave it—

to pick up later

I will not
finish the poem

Here is just one of the lively pieces from Ken Bolton's Selected Poems, published by Shearsman Books. The book is extremely lively, and even borders on iconoclastic! I had the pleasure of hearing Ken read at Collected Works in Melbourne and my goodness, he can put a poem across.

No comments:

Post a Comment