Alan J. Blaustein
During the 1980s I was involved in the East Village poetry scene of the time and published in several collective publications. By 1990, I felt that I had run out of poetic steam. I had already written mass-market paperbacks, and in September 1990 I started to write and edit for various mass-market publications. Poetry came to mind intermittently until October 2012, when I heard the pentameter again, and I've been writing steadily since then. I prefer formal poetry, but I will write free or blank verse if the poem calls for it.
Can I put some force behind the word,
Working from the language to the real,
Rooting for what platitudes conceal,
Strict against the face of what was heard?
Falsify, obfuscate, be vague,
And make amazing magic out of air,
Ducked behind the words the lies laid bare,
Around us like an ever-present plague.
No frail flowers but Villon,
Lyric poets strutting in their rhyme,
Master of meter, rhythm their own,
And never so completely out of time.
We are ages past that have returned!
Thrust against the modern kind of grime,
We can count machines as lessons learned,
And leave the vales and flowery woods behind.
We can write in meter of the poor,
We ourselves reduced to wretched rags,
Celebrate the language of the whore,
And see within the beauty of a hag.
The tendency to bloviate your side,
Is meant to sanctify the cause, ideal,
And add a tone of rightly bending facts.
Safe within a snugly place to hide,
Cultivate a version of the real.
Do the words, but never do the acts.
Are my Gridleys ready to fire,
To dance the carronade,
And burst in staid desire,
So strict as it was made.
Can I make sense of fifty cents,
And why must poems have meaning,
Finding facts are for the dense,
So limited, such gleaning.
©2015 Alan J. Blaustein