“ If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. ”
Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction
(Graywolf Press, 2010)
(Source: afallowfield, via apoetreflects)
“ I always tell my students not to worry about originality; just try to copy the manners and musics of the various, the more various the better, poetries you love: your originality will come from your inability to copy well: YOUR GENIUS IS YOUR ERROR. ”
“Is It You?” from The American Poetry Review
(Vo. 29, No. 3, May/Jun 2000)
“ Whose clouds are those? Whose nematodes?
What enters your mind when you put on your coat?
There’s a story I’m longing to whisper in your ear.
Isn’t it a story you’ve already heard?
Will you stop and be with me awhile over the dewpoint?
Will you touch me?
Is it you who brings terror to lonely places?
Did you take the snapshot of the second before the Last
Judgment, the moment when the lids have lifted from all
the coffins but the dead haven’t noticed yet?
Did you coin the expression, sleep with the angels?
Did you know how the living would fight over the dearly departed?
Why did you hide consolation in a crack in the trunk
of an olive tree on an island hardly anyone gets to anymore?
Was it you who tanned me in sumac and bound me to a book?
Did you blind the cat so the mouse could return to its nest?
Is it you I can’t hold enough of in my galvanized hands?
Did you direct sunlight to shape a grazing horse’s neck
so that no one can look at it and not say they ache?
Did you understand how difficult it would be to think
of hair growing or birds in flight or a moon turning?
Did you turn a bushel upside-down in a corner so that
light could hide in it?
Is it you who treated air as if it were a broth
fragrant with alleys of bay leaves and so clear you saw
your own face in it?
Is it you holding the keys for the locks on the doors
to the beautiful empty room? ”