AUGUST 1985

     I’ve never been one for intellectualizing. Too much
     talk, never enough action. Hiding behind the halls of theories
     writ to obligate, bedazzle, and torment, it is rather
     for us to tantalize with the promise, however false, of speedy
     access and explanatory compensation. A poem should not
     be but become. And those who so disgrace their
     pennants, however and whomever so deafened, shall tar
     in the fires of riotous inspiration and bare the
     mark of infancy on their all too collectivist breasts. Terrorism
     in the defense of free enterprise is no vice; violence
     in the pursuit of justice is no virgin. This is
     what distinguishes American and Canadian verse—a topic
     we can ill afford to gloss over at this
     crucial juncture in our binational course. I
     did not steal the pears. Indeed, the problem
     is not the bathwater but the baby. I want
     a poem as real as an Orange Julius. But
     let us put aside rhetoric and speak as from one
     heart to another words that will soothe
     and illuminate. It is no longer 1978, nor for
     that matter 1982. The new fades like the shine
     on your brown wingtip shoes: should you simply
     buff or put down a coat of polish first? Maybe the shoes
     themselves need to be replaced. The shoes themselves: this is the
     inscrutable object of our project. Surely everything
     that occurs in time is a document of that
     time. Rev. Brown brings this point home when he
     relates the discomfort of some of his congregation
     that formulations of a half- or quarter-, much less
     full-decade ago are no longer current to today’s
     situation. The present is always insatiable because
     it never exists. On the other hand, the past
     is always outmoded and the future elides. Light
     travels slowly for the inpatient humanoid.
     Half the world thinks the night will never end
     while another half sweats under the yoke of unrelenting
     brightness. It’s time to take our hats off
     and settle in. The kettle’s on the stovetop, the
     centuries are stacked, like books, upon the shelf.
     Bunt, then buzz.




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