Sunday, November 2, 2008

What Else Got Buried

Over the course of many years, I've published little poems in no name journals, many of which have long since folded: Fireweed, The Dragonfly Review, Manzanita Quarterly. In a world of online databases, where poems can be stored infinitely, my wordy children are lost.

I'm trying to gather them together into a chapbook. Well, that is, I have gathered them together, and now the only logic is to find someone to publish them. And thus save them. From what? Time? Dust? This is the wonderful thing about reading Ecclesiastes and Marcus Aurelius: in the end it just won't matter. I'll be dead, the poems will be dead. What is this life?

Without being overtly sentimental (poems are children? Really.) I do want to preserve whatever sensibility and, well, feeling is kept in these jars. Urns. Poems, word games. Whatever this drive is, it has kept me unabashadly in front of the computer monitor nearly all day. Right into the early dark of daylight savings. Saving for what?

But earlier I watched the great blue heron sail east, toward Johnson Creek. Only in Portland, folks. And that's the least of it: then there are the bald eagles, the raptors, the waxwings.

RIP, little magazines, shoddy quarterlies.

Meanwhile I'm on some strange mission, running around town attending every damn poetry reading I can. I'm behaving like an anthropologist to the literary culture here. Taking notes. Working quietly toward a story or two for the Willamette Week. But I must have seen it all when the drunk walked in off the street, pissed pants, and actually threw up at Christopher Luna's reading in the Three Friends Coffee House. Now that's poetry.