Monday, 17 April 2017

Anthony Desmond

With each review I write, I'm finding more appreciation for words and how they are phrased within individual poems. Just like that of today's poet Anthony Desmond...

Strap

I bathe in a washtub
surrounded by grass and weeds.
I take buckets of water,
pour them over my head
and act as if a God
is purifying my sins
but these riches are
damned by the poorest
of bastards with souls
as cold as the leather
they wish their daddies
beat them with.
They learned pain is love,
and I ain't talkin' bout the
sting of discipline.

Such luscious language and imagery is strongly associated with this piece – I could almost smell the grass and the weeds. It's quite powerful indeed when one allows their senses to take over when reading a piece of poetry that leaves you to just genuinely think. I found this particular section to be especially soul nourishing:

I take buckets of water,
pour them over my head
and act as if a God
is purifying my sins
but these riches are
damned by the poorest
of bastards with souls

Water is often utilized as a purification medium – it really does give one pause to think about what it really means to be baptized and how that symbolic sacraments truly are with regards to the growth we face as humans. I can clearly see how one would think pouring buckets over their head to be an act of God – in that action you could not exclusively be cleaning your body but your soul as well. A physical purification of an emotional act. Quite profound indeed!

Hands

You brush your hair in the evenings
Humid curls with every stroke
as if moist fingers tousled your locks.
You say it's the damp heat
in our room, so I turn on the AC
and enjoy this sky blue fiddle.
She walks to the kitchen counter,
her robe half open; he admires a peek
of her breast, as she goes about her
business. Yet shudders at the depths of
life and death between her legs.
If I would've surrendered like
a civilian told to throw the white flag
in the trenches, my reward would
proudly be a house with too many
bathrooms and a bed that's just
for me, to sleep.

I like this poem because it really does offer a slight video of what someone's life could potentially look like from the confines of their own dwelling. For some reason, I really have no idea why but it is propelling me to think like this – can you see this snapshot captured with words taking place either first thing in the morning or right before bed at night. This time does certainly not strike me as a middle of the day scene. Now, come to think of it – this piece could easily reference an evening routine...


Guardian

You never wore shoes
and I waited for you
to dip your feet in the water,
leaving a trail for me
to follow like a loved one
gone too soon.
I floated on the thought
of you alone, singing
the lonely lover's call
as a vulture over
freshly killed prey.

Why is it that when the water is cold we have the instinct to directly put our toes in and not just jump right on it. There are indeed dangerous things in the water as are on land however it seems more dramatic to use water for this purpose over land.

I kept reading this section repeatedly:

I floated on the thought
of you alone, singing
the lonely lover's call
as a vulture over
freshly killed prey.


I'm reminded of the Sirens from the ocean how they would lull the men on their ships into a strong slumber – in order for them to ensure a properly crashed boat. I wonder what one would consider to be the vulture over of the ocean? One which lingers on freshly killed prey ready to be devoured – leaves one feeling completely satisfied if you ask me as our world has always and will always survive by the old adage of only the strong survive.