Academic journal article Chicago Review

Theory and Practice in Poetry

Academic journal article Chicago Review

Theory and Practice in Poetry

Article excerpt

for Annie, working the desk at the Canyon Ranch Spa

The idea that freezes me this time is the "ideal" of a poet finding her poetics. While outside, Mr. T in his T-shirt is prowling the greens, and the long lazy days are lying down in the meadow outside the ruined precincts of an old sophistry, in another state, getting on towards noon, where, among a thickness of flowers so redolent and sweet as to dizzy even the bees, summer slides in, bringing a haze of heat like the skin shed by a river when a mist rises from its indolent wet back, droplets of water (each carrying a world) that travel on the back of a sequined wind to that meadow woven of grass, flowers and guesswork - so intricate a tapestry of greens that in all that steam, and heat, and growing matter, the ideal of a poet finding her poetics is lost like a ball in tall weeds, and the dog who finds it carries it off in his mouth, coating it with his sweet saliva, and brings it, across miles of odd synapses and scattered thoughts, and drops it at the feet of a woman who is staring down a well, but just then turns away to acknowledge the warm breath on her knee, and reaches down and pats the warm furred head of the panting, eager dog, who feels pleased at his feat of fetching, as does she, as she rubs behind his ears and lifting the sticky ball from his mouth, she thinks for a minute of tossing it down the well, but instead she throws it, as far as she can, into the lucid blue desert sky, and watches as it makes that beautiful arc (gravity's rainbow) back toward the sandy earth as the dog hurtles off after it, knowing he'll find it, knowing he'll be back with it. …

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