Sunday, 13 January 2013

I Tried to Speak Hemingway by Daniel Dowe

I tried to speak Hemingway, but she wanted Faulkner.
I thought my words were spare and evocative and true
Little ominous blasts bursting from staccato notes.
But she heard my monosyllables,
My crafted and considered signposts.
And thought they were just vague and noncommittal
When I thought they were symphonies.

What she didn’t know was that to be florid,
To be languid and verbose,
To unleash the words in a volley of spray and sound,
To give her as many meanings as she might ever want,
To ponder, to cry over, to envelop her, to fill her with atmosphere,
Would rob me of my sense of beginning or end.

I’ve been in those Southern evenings,
Where the sweet kudzu conspires with jasmine
And wisteria and a muggy sunset to addle
Your brain and make you shinny up a sweet dialect
Only a debutante at an orange blossomed cotillion can love.

But I live in a world where straight lines meet straight corners
And up is never down.  
Too many words can mean too many circles,
And too many explanations can leave very deep holes.

I don’t mind lingering in the spaces between and above the words,
I don’t even mind repeating them,
well maybe once.

I just want truth and the certainty that comes from
Not having to know.

I just want the least to do the most.

Daniel Dowe, CT, USA

1 comment:

Mavis said...

I love the less is more theme, so cleverly worked into the poem with the contrast of sparse and florid lines. I really enjoyed this and look forward to hearing more from Daniel.