To balance out the gloomy days (like yesterday), I’m going to try my darnedest to share with you, at least once a week, something that I love. Something that truly makes my twisted heart and mind tick. Last week it was Zumba. I ♥ Zumba. Fish were made for swimming, snakes were made for slithering, birds were made for flying, and humans were made for dancing so don’t deprive yourself of becoming the Lord of the Dance. This I ♥ post is inspired by Mike, a blogger (and new reader to this blog) from Just a Man, his Dog, and his Truck. He’s a modern day poet. And some naysayers may believe poetry is dead, but he’s here to show us that poetry is certainly alive, well and doing mighty fine. So this post goes out to you Mike and all the poetry lovers out there. Here are my two all time favorite poems. The first one is by the great writer, John Updike. I expect this to be recited at my funeral–which I hope is not anytime soon. To balance out the heaviness of the poem, I’ve included some embarrassing photos of myself for your enjoyment. And the second poem is by the former Ithacan and Cornell professor (and my favorite poet of all time) A.R. Ammons. I’m so sad I never had the chance to meet him. Enjoy!
And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic
which took a whole life to develop and market —
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
In the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That’s it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren’t the same.
— John Updike
A fifth of me’s me:
the rest’s chaser:
my true self: but
chuck 10 lbs. or so for bones,
steaks & chops &
two-over-easy & cream-on-the-side:
strip off a sheath of hide,
strip out nerves & veins
& permeable membranes,
what’s left’s a greasy spot:
the shallow stain
or go 100% spiritual
and fifth by fifth
achieve a whole,
— A.R. Ammons