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2005 issue



Though the whole aim of existence may be to learn what it’s like to be Other, and to act accordingly; though harmonious growth is the aim, slow and beautiful; though we may love all with gravis and mirth–are we ever, the poet asks, free of the tyranny of interpretation?

Anyone today who loves “free verse”, in the truest sense of the word, will relish this offering. Of the thirteen poets here in the following pages, each one knows that establishing identity with a vision of freedom poses a risk to power that toys with democracy. You would want to know about me? he or she tells us. Save this tree. That is my story. And to thine own self also be true. That is my story too.

Indeed, if I adored way back into thought what each poem gathered here means to me, each poem, I would say, is a cat. For the poet reminds us that we are not here to accumulate things or experiences. Hers is the power and will, rather, of spending all one has for a lifetime goal, for one’s reason to live. Don’t listen to others, she would remind us. For when doing one’s “own thing” (to borrow from Emerson), one knows that waste is not just waste, loss is not just loss, that pain is not merely destructive..

From our age-old woes, however, we think small, weighing our every move. We live apart and carefully avoid the weaving of ourselves in the everyday life of words. But suppose we resource language in a new way?(Once you let the bland and banal get your blood racing, small steps on earth will be as giant steps on the moon.)

To treasure the show of the world in each moment, in the flow of life and death, we close in on taking a step forward, toward that place of remembering who we really are, not thinking how far we’ll go. (Yes, in some areas of our lives we forge ahead, in others we dally.) (It’s not like you can say “I love you” to a snake but when you reach the point where you can say to yourself, “Jesus, I can say this?” then you’ll know you’re on the right track.) When we look down that path we may be able to say, when it’s all over, what a beautiful story we have created.