Thursday, April 25, 2013

High School English - Eliot and words for Tripathi

It is never too late to be who you might have beenGeorge Eliot
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. T.S. Eliot

I finished reading A Sense of Direction by Gideon Lewis-Kraus today; but I have not finished digesting it.  It is due back at the library on the 29th.

Serial memoirists. When I allow myself luxury reading, reading that is other than technical or news, that is what I read. I conclude that it is a love hate relationship with the might have been. Conclusions foil me. I assume they are needed for a story and they are; but they do not need to be as conclusive as I imagine. 

I have yet to get fully lost in Wasteland 
APRIL is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

but have scanned searchable by Internet Quotes and a few poems by T.S. that elude my conclusively elusive memory. I know that it was taking on of a man's name that got me to read MiddleMarch and other works (Silas Marner, Adam Bede) of Novelist Mary Anne Evans. Ironically the indefatigable reading of Middlemarch peppers  Gideon's pilgrimage story - finishing it via iPhone while in a taco line in New York (p.332 ) and citing the enduring Dorothea Brooke. Perhaps another irony is that Virginia Wolfe's examination of George Eliot decries her life to be a pilgrimage and that is how my younger self saw her "daring and achieving" as she endured aspiring in a man's world. And I still wonder how choosing this writer to explore for my Senior English Paper in 1971 could not be seen as laudable  So in 2009 when I was newly enthralled with a writer from CT Gina Barreca whose books I bought, laughed over, loaned to extended family and never got back wrote for the Chronicle of Higher Education: "Would You Trade T.S. Eliot for George Eliot?  - I felt redeemed. 

There is so much unexplored in this distraction of writing that once I had imagined to be my real life's work including the fact that as I wandered through the new downtown campus of a local community college I saw among the granite interior wall inscriptions from both Eliots. It made me ruminate and smile full bodied and think about writing, but I did not write.

On such days as this I would put pencil to paper and attempt a poem.  This week I realize that this poem is the news made new in Boston. This poem needs a reprise - for  Tripathi.  I would be proud to find those words.

Powder Puffs
followed the red hot dots
stone to stone, poof & play escapes
roll, pull, caps, pop, roll

Popular culled
taking out vinyl, TV, movies, microchips. Afghanistan smolders,
imbued. Land mines, queerly puffed spheres, maim
riddled children as life goes on. Taliban ban
implodes. No one saw the danger.
Hollow powder poofs over a land-scape
a genuine Islamic Militia - 1996

Toy gun powder
took out the janitor and 2 or 3, 9 to 5 guys
for life.  Gone the anonymous presence, opinions
held by one who disinfects bathrooms.  A cap gun factory
explodes.  No one saw the danger.
Cap powder poofs over a life-scape
a genuine news story - California 1997

indulgence denied
shrieks prevail which parent-child, stress cleaves
the dark. “Kill the TV! Wipe-out video game! Wrestle this
Get a LIFE!”.   Fingered.  Suckling technology
erodes. No one saw the danger.
Baby powder poofs over our net-scape
a genuine break with sanity - 1998

Sharia looms
unpopular, an emergent evolution veiled of darkness
women, children - like wet men, not afraid of rain
numb to terror. Pakistan knows what can be hidden
in stone.  No one saw the danger.
Talc powder poofs over a judeo-scape
a genuine threat concealed -1999

stone upon stone, poof into sinister dust
a genuine terror changes a city-scape

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This poem was a written in 1999:a response poem to the photographic essay in National Geographic by IIkka Uimonen Faces of Afghanistan. The alternate poem title was: What will the prosthesis be from our war - children maimed by antipersonnel land mines of middle America. I sent it to National Geographic asking that they pass it on to the photographer. Heather, Houston and I collectively were touched by the stories of children. My message said: The best way to thank you is to share back with you what your work inspired a reflection deep & evolving. Such reflection is at the core of our humanness. You have touched my core with an unusual piercing. While it was not pleasant, it is and continues to be extremely valued. What is evolving is a poem: Powder Puffs