Dirty Gerty's Hurdy Gurdy


Only the poem knows what's true

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Tulip

I've been thinking about my old definition of poetry, why it's so intuitive. Because it reveals to us what we already know. It's an invented instinct. Takes us to re-discovery. I still abide by this definition, though I'm always cautious, as pertains to definitive claims. After reading a prose poem from Baudelaire (from Paris Spleen), I realized what poetry is saying to us. And that is, come back (!). It embodies the primordial encompassing, the nothingness that envelops everything we are and see. Simply, every metaphor it entails, every image, is an attestation to the answer of a question we all ask: why? It is a course in re-discovery, an impetus for letting our instincts escape. And, I believe, this is the answer, escape, embodiment, existing in metaphor without even realizing it. Something in between negative capability and duende. Because of these thoughts, I wrote a poem today about the soul of art. It follows:


A black tulip in a field of violets,
A blue dahlia in a glass vase,
Leda left inviolate
To the swan’s impulsive gaze.

The busker on a crowded street
Waiting for some change,
His life the prolonged beat
Of his violin’s unlocked cage.

And the rain pirouetting windows,
With its liquid texture,
Falling like the willow
Under its architecture.

And the busker’s wilting song,
Petal by petals falls apart,
To an uncaring throng
Of those who wilt its art.

As sylphs pass through time,
The migratory hours
Their prolonging grime
Prolongs the lives of flowers.

But nothing can persist
Without the revelation,
A mind cannot exist
Except in elevation.

High above the clouds,
Where nothing has its place,
A star hides among crowds
Of fragrant hues of space.

And here its violin
Is not to entertain
So virtue and thus sin
Make time a pauper’s flame.

Art, to me, is a black tulip in a field of violets. Something so extraordinary, and distinct, it even accentuates the world surrounding (it). Just as nature is manipulated, created by our perceptions, so our perceptions are goaded by it. And it is in this goading, that all art aspires. The primordial encompassing; what was and will or never be.

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