Monday, April 22, 2013

I Am In Love... With Words

Have you ever read something that completely renewed your faith in writing and encapsulated all the intangible beauty of words? 


In keeping with the theme of National Poetry Month, I would like to share a book of poetry that, upon reading just one poem from its pages, I fell hopelessly in love with.  Lisa Olstein is, in my humble opinion, a true artist.  She paints with words, crafting poetry that is so beautiful in its simplicity.  I recently read a few poems from her collection titled "Little Stranger" and felt I had to share a couple of my favorites.  What I love most about them, among so many other things, is that they are not attempting to be innovative or push boundaries.  So much of today's poetry is mislabeled as insightful only because of it's innovation.  This collection is articulate and engaging in its imagery.  Just plain awesome.  Here are two of my favorites:

Furniture Music

During the first snowstorm
we busy ourselves with wind
and the torque of falling
flakes. During the second
we watch menageries
slipping past our windows.
After the fourth we stay inside.
We grow accustomed to
our solitude. We grow hungry.
By the sixth we eat only
what’s white. We watch deer
teeter from the woods on teacup
hooves. If we thought about leaving
the house we’d be terrified.
We think instead of polar bears
patient on ice floes breathing
into the breathing holes where
seals surface, the frigid air
where their mouths won’t quite meet.
We think of the famous Siberian
tiger in the zoo pacing
while perfect camouflage

 This Waking Life II

Fish dart like birds flock.
Traffic runs like fish
hell-bent upstream.
We catch and release.
We cease. We forget.
We do it without noticing;
we put on our finest clothes.
We write love song after love
song and find it hurts most
when we stop singing.
The anchorwoman’s hair
makes sense next to
the other anchorwoman’s hair.
There are offices devoted
to the demise of old words,
others to the rise of new ones.
Routes are mapped.
Factories confuse the air.
From a footprint, experts can
construct a life story, predict
a future path. I don’t want to
know who you are, I don’t
want to tell you who I’ve been
walking down the street or
at night in my bed. I want to
sit next to you while fish kiss
and twist the birded surface
of the pond from underneath
without breaking the skin.

I would highly recommend Lisa Olstein's "Little Stranger" to anyone that shares my love of words.  Happy Monday, and continue celebrating National Poetry Month!