Sunday, May 4, 2008

lively model

One of the many good things about National Poetry Month--which is now chronologically over--is that it really doesn't have to be over on April 30th and can just create more of a heightened focus on poetry that might even last all year. Also, it brings "lesser-known" poets out of the shadows as they share their 30 days with tax returns and confused spring weather. One poet I really enjoyed being introduced to through Knopf's poem-a-day e-mails was Marie Ponsot, with this poem in particular:

Live Model

Who wouldn't rather paint than pose—
Modeling, you're an itch the artist
Doesn't want to scratch, at least
Not directly, and not yet.
You think, "At last, a man who knows
How bodies are metaphors!" (You're wrong.)
First time I posed for him he made

A gilded throne to sit me on
Crowned open-armed in a blue halfgown.
I sat his way, which was not one of mine
But stiff & breakable as glass,
Palestill, as if
With a rosetree up my spine.
We had to be speechless too,
Gut tight in a sacring thermal
Hush of love & art;
Even songs & poems
Were too mundane for me to quote
To ease our grand feelings
So I sat mute, as if
With a rosetree down my throat.
Now I breathe deep, I sit slack,

I've thrown the glass out, spit,
Evacuated bushels of roses.
I’ve got my old quick walk
& my big dirty voice back.
Why do I still sometimes sit
On what is unmistakably like a throne?
Why not. Bodies are metaphors
And this one's my own.

Also thanks to Knopf's daily poetry e-mail, you can hear Marie reading her poem in her "big dirty voice" by clicking this link.