Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jack Gilbert & Up Up & Away & Passion Pit


I came back from the funeral and crawled
around the apartment, crying hard,
searching for my wife's hair.
For two months got them from the drain,
from the vacuum cleaner, under the refrigerator,
and off the clothes in the closet.
But after other Japanese women came,
there was no way to be sure which were
hers, and I stopped. A year later,
repotting Michiko's avocado, I find
a long black hair tangled in the dirt.

-- Jack Gilbert

Marination is everything when it comes to describing my relationship with Gilbert's work. Read his books when a grad. kid at Hollins -- my roommate K. had studied with him when he frolicked to UT -- Knoxville & she threw him our way -- and I loved them.

Sometimes, though, it takes me a while to realize how important certain writers are -- it takes me remembering a line or a poem years later for me to understand that they're as emotionally intelligent as they are finely crafted. You know? Like, when you're in a museum and you see something beautiful but you don't know what you really FELT until later? Or is that just me?

Maybe I didn't need Gilbert's work in the same way as I do now. Maybe.

Point? I think Gilbert is da MAN & I want to hug on to his work for a long, long time.

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