Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Poem Draft of 2008

First off, three poems in the new issue of Oranges & Sardines. Enjoy!

***


I Resolve



to shut the door and steer our house from drafts, ruddered
and shifting in its hollow weight. I resolve to steer us clear of rocks.

I will man the crow’s nest and keep my eyes zeroed in
on the graying coast. I resolve to be attentive and not shirk

duty. I resolve to fold laundry, to clean the edges of the baseboards
with the vacuum’s pointed nozzle. I resolve to sparkle. To be

sonorous. To be hearty and heartfelt. I resolve to understand
the aches of everything—your sleeplessness, our dog

with his chattering jowl, the moss on the roof of the house. I swear
I’ll be more lovely. I’ll shine and clink. I’ll ring like a chapel bell’s peal.

I promise to know my chronic bogs more deeply, to be real
in the face of this common adversity lest I sink us

together. If so, may some paleontologist in a future new year
come upon our bones clustered in mud and find us beautiful

clutching each others hands, fetal and serene. May we be sequestered
by some museum as an example of this primitive love.

May we shine, wicked and straight like icicles
in our plastic display cases.
Dear, bring me back. I resolve

to hear your call. There are hungry flowers that tug at my mouth.
Their petals are like the softly furred lobes of a child.

I am not a resolute man and my collar is haphazard.
It swivels at every flash and beep. Keep me still.

My brain’s on a constant go. Put your hand here
on my heart and tell me to promise. Feel it pulse. Feel it slow.


***


Thanks to Erika Meitner for this prompt. Jotted this down quickly after the initial idea that I needed to repeat an idea/image.

***

My real New Years Resolutions:

1. To be a better husband and father.

2. Get more sleep.

3. Be a more "active" writer/poet--if I sliced up the usage of my hours when L. is asleep, I bet I'll find plenty of time to write, submit, and edit.

4. To eat better--I've been in a hurry lately and that's done damage to my diet.

5. To slow down in all things, but especially in the way that I relate to people.

***

Current Spins:



Eef Barzelay.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that you are already a fine father and husband. And I have to say, there are lines in that poem that stopped me dead. Lovely. Really.

Happy NY to you and yours!

Teri (who misses Jake)

stacebro said...

Happy New Year, Oliver! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks...

stacebro said...

Happy New Year, Oliver! Can't wait to see you in a few weeks...

Collin Kelley said...

Happy New Year! Congrats on the new poems in O&S. Especially love "At the time of my birth..." Great photo, too. :)

Oliver de la Paz said...

Thanks Teri! Jake misses you too. He gashed up his hind right foot today running through the snow. He was probably too cold to realize he'd done some damage.

Happy New Year, Stace! Yes! Soon! Soon!

And thanks Collin and Happy New Year! Meredith took the picture (the pride of Atlanta's Woodward Academy, btw). I'm posing in the middle of Greenbank Farm on Whidbey Island, WA.

man-of-snows said...

Congrats on O&S, and thank you for turning me on to this magazine. It is really great.

Theresa Williams said...

Such a beautiful poem. I found it by chance while looking for the author of "Dreams of Horses." I'll have to put you on my Bloglines feed. Peace.

January said...

Happy New Year! What a great idea for a poem, and congrats on O&S.