Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In love with love

Over the holidays I saw the new Jim Jarmusch film, Paterson; it was splendid, more than splendid, it was about poetry and the urge to write and the urge and the need to create. Critics panned it of course, too slow, they said. Too slight.
But for me it was a revelation.

So I thought I would try my hand at a poem. I wrote poetry when I was in my twenties, very bad, very slight. But I sat down the last day of this year, with the rain coming down, and mulled over the words that would go into my poem, like Adam Driver does in Paterson. Mulling is part of writing poetry, I believe, different than writing an essay or a work of fiction. Those take different skills, but I quite like mulling, and I quite liked how Adam Driver did it in the movie, so I'm giving myself permission to copy his method, at least for this first attempt.  

In love with love

Life is so precious
so fragile
so finite....
Yet love is infinite.
Or at least it seems when you’re walking in the rain and a small black towhee sits above you singing.
It gets you kicking up your heels and thinking that love will last forever, that you will always love, love will go on and on and on.
But then you grow disillusioned.
You grow out of love. You face the end of love alone.

But what of this: You’re young and full of life and infinitely in love with life. You’re in love with love. You touch everyone with your love. You are the wind and the salt sea. But then you face your death alone. You fly away singing. Where do you go? Where does that infinite love go? How does the universe contain that finite being full of infinite love that touched so many?

Maybe I’m thinking of all this because it’s raining, because it’s cold and gray, because my family is scattered. Because love is both infinite...and finite. Because the one who loved love and the multitudes who loved him back has died. And where did that love go?

I think I got his eyes