From Time Being Books: "Brodsky is the author of fifty-eight volumes of poetry (five of which have been published in French by éditions Gallimard) and twenty-three volumes of prose, including nine books of scholarship on William Faulkner and seven books of short fictions...In 2004, Brodsky's You Can't Go Back, Exactly won the award for best book of poetry, presented by the Center for Great Lakes Culture, at Michigan State University." His latest poetry book, The World Waiting to Be, is now available. Visit his site.
© 2008 Louis Daniel Brodsky
(The following poems are from The World Waiting to Be.)
Can you remember that first day of December,
When words for which you went searching
Deferred to quietude,
As you stabbed, with your pen,
The surface of your notebook's frozen lake?
No matter how hard you grasped the shaft,
How much force you applied to the balled tip,
You couldn't make a dent,
Let alone penetrate to depths where notions swim.
Your backed-up brain throbbed with pain.
In utter frustration and exhaustion,
You snapped the clear plastic pick in two,
Threw the pieces down.
Once you had gone, the ice melted from that lake;
Its waters swarmed with ideas you'd never catch.
Some days, he gets going so fast
He could almost mistake himself for a turbine,
Converting tons of river into electricity,
Rather than a rickety waterwheel beside a canted mill,
Groaning below the trickle of a sleepy stream,
Barely turning his aging body and mind
In lazy circles, from sunrise to twilight.
How he still lets himself get so wound up
Is a mystery to him, a miracle, a tribute to his vigor,
A testimony to his joie de vivre, purposeful insanity,
With a degree of discipline mixed in.
It has to be that going fast still exhilarates him,
Adrenalizes his cells, makes his flesh quiver
As if suspended in extended orgasm.
Grateful for this gift, privilege, wisdom,
He probes his original visions,
In search of poetic bits and pieces
He might use to fashion something sacred, from scratch -
The next Sistine Chapel ceiling, Macbeth,
Polio vaccine, Stealth bomber, silicon chip,
Map of the human genome's terra incognita.
All it takes to power his psyche
Is the slightest trace of a measure, a word-chime.
In such a dynamo-throe, he goes wild,
Demands that his senses arouse themselves,
Assume the shapes of symbol, image, metaphor,
Bring his singing to climax, his dancing to closure.
He's addicted to the essence of creation.
All work is copyrighted property of Louis Daniel Brodsky.
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