The Humanist

Love, like poetry is
………..a kenosis as Bloom says, or
an emptying. It is the inexactitude of
………..the measure of the self
the terrible widening of space within space
an anti-clarity which is the clarity of being
within oneself and this is what the Greeks
called Eros:

……….This:
physical
……….wavering-repetition and

recognition
of the incompleteness which is love.

Just the intuition that I am
not as separate as I once was
when I wanted to kiss Olivia in the supermarket
when she told me that she had left him
or that evening last spring when I decided I wanted to be a painter
and did that portrait of a naked woman in red.

………..The soul is image ensnared in sound
which ripples out infinite into empty space
………..and we need to just
put up some obstacles so that we may

reflect
the soul
and so capture it back in the center of itself.

We are always
always
in search of a mending.
Our
souls rent,
by the bumping about in the dark and so getting caught
on nails.

It is not the absence of ideas
but the absence of real ideas
about real things
not just tables and chairs
but love or painting or literature:

I still think about
Gloria taking out a copy of Hopscotch (English for Rayuela)
from her purse when we met outside the Notre Dame that night last summer
to see if
I had come there for her, La Maga

as she were:
to see if I understood that life must be met
with some idea bigger than life, some
poetics
which cannot be reduced but is yet not
some grand edifice of rationality::

Molly Bloom’s soliloquy,
Mrs. Dalloway buying flowers
or
Debussy while it rains.

The plainness of art or truth,
the correspondence of life within life
like a glob of blue genius in a white room
folding out and collapsing upon itself trying to attain
a shape.

………..Rilke studied Rodin, watching the
master in his studio

………..moved:
by the stillness of the old man who had
somehow
been able to make love tangible
and had let trembling Eros dissipate
into the shape of time which is image:
………..And it is

the thought of Olivia in her kitchen with the windows open and nobody
in the house which we agreed was lovely in spring but so terrible
in winter.

………..It is like Rilke’s panther, life radiating
out
………..into life
………………….so that life
……………………………is imaged as it
……………………………………..is
in the intellect
of love.

Previously published in Leveler and The Humanist (Literary Laundry Press).

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Matthew Gasda is a poet living in New York City. His first book The Humanist is available through Literary Laundry Press. Matthew’s “To Hart Crane” and “Answer to Job” are also in Reprint.

Object(s) to bring back to life: “The typewriter, the heyday of psychoanalysis, jazz clubs”

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