Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, December 03, 2004

Blues for Archie (2001)

Holy shit: Archie’s dead:
A.R. Ammons I mean:
Sitting on the crapper this a.m.
with the new New Yorker,
open it up, read about
this week’s contributors
and there’s A.R., only
he died last week: Wha?
The old bastard finally
gave in: Completed his
last motions: His verses
have always been such
a durable enjoyment for
me, I thought they’d never end:
I’m just finishing “Sumerian
Vistas” and starting in
“Lake Effect Country”:
Pleased like a child or
a small animal at that
simple water music:
I’m in need of motions
which abandon old selves
and engender new ones:
His lines telegraph
my own: I mean the style
of intermittancy woven
round colons: No real
resting point, just the
next embarkation: Oh Archie
I will miss you, you gnarled
arrogant plaintalking
bastard: You loved your wife
& the dailiness of life (at
least in your verses): Sought
eternals in the local and
shimmered up the profane
(again, here): Now you’re
singing with the other singing dead:
I never knew you personally
but was a fellow traveller
with a mind that moved
in poems: Can’t really say I’m
stricken, none of that black
shock & tears: Still I thought
you’d really keep on keepin on
and in so keeping help
keep my motions moist,
maybe also true: Well as
you can tell that was
a misguided faith, as wrong
as marrying a titty dancer:
Let that one flap and
flash back into the river
which was never his to
begin with — it wasn’t
Frost’s nor Stevens’s nor
Emerson’s nor Montaigne’s
nor Blake’s nor Heraclitus’s
either: It isn’t even a
river but simply the flux and
flow between mind and word
and word and world
and world and whirled leaves
and now you’re leaving me:
Farewell irascible joy:
Keep on keepin on:
In “Retiring” you wrote
“I’ll probably get the sun
up and down, turn
the stars through the round
sprinkling sheets, become essential
at all the wind’s swerves,
keeping it going right”

You go boy: I’m right behind you:


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