Saturday Poem


A Venetian critic named Bruno Alfieri saw:
(in Jackson Pollock’s work)

—absolute lack of harmony
—complete lack of structural organization
—total absence of technique, however rudimentary
—once again, chaos
from Art In America, February 1994

1. Chaos

Being true to what we are, what is,
frayed around the edges, perhaps, and growing weird.
Born in NYC, and from there, no movement.
It is our own terror, our own making,
abandoned in the high-rise night
like an impotent frog.

2. Absolute lack of harmony

There are times when you can’t illuminate nothing, man.
Don’t open that door, they say, don’t even enter the room.
My second wife would know, she didn’t belong
among the pacifists making music. Every
day you encounter people going
straight to hell.

3. Complete lack of structural organization

The summer air, by itself, is enough.
Add a few fireflies at twilight for memory’s sake.
And measure all the green you’ve seen.
Insane with desire to go home again?
Listen, the sky is whirling overhead.
Listen to the silence.

4. Total absence of technique

However, you may say also, a product
of society, exactly what is technique anyway?
A goodnight kiss? Effective sex? Packing a great wallop?
Like maybe who knows how to measure “things.”
Sometimes, you just let it be.

5. Once again, chaos

Suffice me to display the facts of life.
Stream of consciousness, and experience, later.
Lip-service for the masses who are real screwed up.
Poems for and from the guilty, they won’t be liberated
by pen and ink alone, runs the proverb in all its
terrible lifespan, maintaining momentum.

Epilogue: Upon elaboration

The song of past sorrows, through
the woods to grandma’s house, and why would
a man evade normalcy on purpose? The movement,
then, towards perfection, grids across a dark map
to a Loveland for the thirsty, a planet full
of art, instinctive man, radiant energy.

by Errol Miller
from First Intensity Magazine
First Intensity Press, #10 Winter 1998