The Many Faces of PoetryPosted: April 8, 2022
Poetry Of The Gnu Age
After reaching enlightenment,
Milarepa’s first three steps
into the rocks of his shelter
so that today
pilgrims bow to these relics as holy icons.
The yogi’s steps were fired in the kiln
of his deep understanding. A thousand
years have passed and his footprints remain
sunk into the bare granite.
I have ten fingers.
The piano has…really…
twelve notes plus octaves therefrom.
I tell my fingers
“land somewhere new. Somewhere
you’ve never been. If it sounds good
then lead me forward. IF it does not.
We go again.
Ten fingers. Twelve notes and octaves.
Fingers: spread yourselves newly. Knuckle middle finger
rise a bit. Good.
send five left fingers to the lowest octave
teach them where they belong
repeat the patterns repeat the patterns
bring the fingers back up
then throw them like dice
at the keyboard let them fly
repeat the patterns again
repeat the patterns: over time
my fingers know things, acquire sense and pitch
before my ears know
before my brain knows
my fingers know.
And, strange as it may sound, always listen to your fingers.
Let us say, hypothetically, that I go to sleep
in just a t shirt. I have two pillows under my head
and a pillow between my knees. As I get ready for bed
I sweep my blankets back and I sit on my pillows, not quite knowing
that I have just stuck my ass in my face. The knee
pillow, especially, is a real ass-face pillow but not
exclusively. No. My other pillows double duty as
butt blankies. I don’t know when or if
I put my ass in my face. No one does.
It is a concern, that’s all. A sanitary consideration.
Truth is you walk around with your ass every day,
it’s on your body
and it hasn’t given you Salmonella or ebola
yet. It’s not going to whether you sit half naked
or not. Everyone is full of shit. We know that.
When some men play around in government,
they shit like water buffalos. Who knew?
They’re all full of shit.
And they sit on their pillows a lot.
Another thing I can stop worrying about.
It is one thing to think
“aw fuck, not again.”
Then it’s another thing to do
nothing, from a sense of overwhelm
at the misery of the world. Many of these miseries
were created by human beings. They are capable of un-creating them but that would take a lot of work. Humans have
a streak of lazy when it comes to inquiry about themselves.
One can say “My bad”
as if that dismisses responsibility. I’ve been bad
but it’s over. That is not enough. You can’t say “My good”
but you’ve got to do “my good”,
you must keep making beautiful things in the face of ignorance.
Help other people with small daily tasks.
Use everything you’ve got
because in the face of this calamity,
it’s not going to be enough.
It’s just a motive to keep working so that,
it will be enough.
Arthur Rosch is a novelist, musician, photographer and poet. His works are funny, memorable and often compelling. One reviewer said “He’s wicked and feisty, but when he gets you by the guts, he never lets go.” Listeners to his music have compared him to Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, Randy Newman or Mose Allison. These comparisons are flattering but deceptive. Rosch is a stylist, a complete original. His material ranges from sly wit to gripping political commentary.
Arthur was born in the heart of Illinois and grew up in the western suburbs of St. Louis. In his teens he discovered his creative potential while hoping to please a girl. Though she left the scene, Arthur’s creativity stayed behind. In his early twenties he moved to San Francisco and took part in the thriving arts scene. His first literary sale was to Playboy Magazine. The piece went on to receive Playboy’s “Best Story of the Year” award. Arthur also has writing credits in Exquisite Corpse, Shutterbug, eDigital, and Cat Fancy Magazine. He has written five novels, a memoir and a large collection of poetry. His autobiographical novel, Confessions Of An Honest Man won the Honorable Mention award from Writer’s Digest in 2016.
More of his work can be found at www.artrosch.com
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