O Mighty Beyond the Chimney Yet Under the Bed - One Address To the Lord After Berryman's 'Eleven' Astutter
'I don't try to reconcile anything' said the poet at eighty,
'This is a damned strange world.' - John Berryman*
I beg (as did Berryman as did
also Job) Do not give up on me
drag me (gently) pull me (tug
tenderly) gather me (dew me
softly cover) do not delay
Shepherding (O Numberless One,
Creator of the Majestic Zero
beyond all counting, that I may
be beyond 'the Ninety and the Nine'**
so) woo me (though a cold bed I
am and make, though human hand
pen/paw at Thee O Mighty beyond
the chimney yet under the bed
yet (pillow me) pillow me plead I
'that my chaff might fly'*** and my
eyes dimned be turned toward what
glimmer remains of corners dark in
recessing mind, O Lord, would have
You take (mine) mind shake the
stiffness necked naked hairs numbered
over all the fading flesh of me
Now (love even me/sand-one-grain)
let Blood stain to Purity; what once
is rendered endures, that one moment,
may, where self-will wilts, (only)
You do what You Will to in me instill
You spill then to me
in torrent, rinse, fling out drear
dark (say it Elizabethan) Sin,
score yet that long longing for
You wrung: Look. Shake me out.
Drained (I am) for wanting that
You (might YOU) Force me far
to me Freshest Be
What hands I have cannot grasp
or reach (draw You in)
for now my tongue must serve
all that (or type or pen thin
ink (India*****) to (You/Not You)
* - from the second of 'Eleven Addresses to the Lord' by John Berryman
[you may read the entire 'Addresses' here, copy and paste:
http: //falconwarren.blogspot.com/2010/12/eleven-addres ses-to-lord-john-berryman.html
** King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) Matthew 18: 12: 'How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? '
*** a phrase from Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem, 'Carrion Comfort'
****India Ink [from wikipedia online] is a simple black ink once widely used for writing and printing and now more commonly used for drawing...originated in China, the ink was brought to India in the 4th Century where additional elements were added to the ink process.
***** Einfall - German word with meanings several, 'invasion, incursions (into) , ' 'clever idea, ' 'notion, whim.'
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
in love with language, all its possibilities, variagations, divi-gations, diversions, divinations, the glad tongue, sad flap of it
blown, torn, tra la la of what is and how it can be said that word
sound and sense, density, the stagger immense creates as does the
Word early shaped the spoken universe and the resonant curses/verses
for better or worses of being here/hear all this said and done(never)
doneness....plain speech has its place but the case for Babel is
made, where creature a tower built FOR the Creator, homo viator,
tongue in tow, and Mind, cradled noggin flooding out soundings
words creating what the Creator could or would not but left for
the wanderers to do all bardic and hairy, scaring the doves from
nests and frog leaps to depths away. Such is the Craft of Poetry
besides or other than dull hair tongue-drag making nothing but
obvious denatured of its glory overlooked or never seen. Tongue
it then. Tell. Forget spelling while the words out spill.
Whirl hidden worlds between the consonant cracks, the miscreant
vowels foregoing punctuant stops (can come later once calmed) .
Making (crafting) a poem can and should be absolute delight with
the obligatory midnight oil burnt toward the task, and bringing
in the day/dawn, especially with comrades like Berryman and so many others to read, study, infuse/stew-in to stir up (not stirrup, but perhaps even that) one's own muse(s) .
Always glad to share what I've gathered through the years with such comrades easily carried in the hand (books) and, even easier in the referring heart (that what's in the books) , is why Berryman should have stayed, to share all that within-ness/withoutness, the shouting, the bearing witness, ah the bridge leap was but a straying sentence run-on but now his mortal pain is gone. He, as he or Henry would say, 'done with song' - now all dream all the day long. You, me in my humble efforts, keep faith for Mr. B and others hard-with at the work/play/write/read of poetry.
Have (with) at it.
Another cuss of a poet, a drunkard, too (threw me outta his class once but let me in next day, a peace offering gladly taken, Alka Selter and an arrowhead I had found that morning fresh field, Cherokee craft, quart snowy from Carolina stream bed, said
'Poetry's the greatest goddamned thing in the universe entire.' (Or something very like that)
It entirely is.
Best (tirelessly) ,
Comments about this poem (O Mighty Beyond the Chimney Yet Under the Bed - One Address To the Lord After Berryman's 'Eleven' Astutter by Warren Falcon )
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