Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Psalm 8: Two Views of Creation


Our excellent God
has created an
Excellent World.
I have camped
many times
with Love
in the woods & lakes
of Central Wisconsin

and have gotten up
with a soft sullen
to see the ducks &
geese leaving a lake
called Mauthe
and have felt the
chill air
and wondered-
no exulted-
in my blessing
to be what seemed
the only human animal
seeing the
brilliantined light
in the moist leaves

and glistening raccoon
tracks and surprisingly
smoldering embers
of last night’s fire.
I have rolled a papered
tube of God-proven
and touched it with fire
(man’s favorite miracle)
and grinned (breathing smoke)
so broad my face
might break
to hear the splash
of a few fattened bass
and walleye down the hill
I’ve built fire.
What power is mine
to command base elements!
And have read powerful words of
made laughable
by the peace I
experienced there
Praise God, then,for this should be life.


Our excellent God
has created an
excellent world.
I have lived,
lo these five years,
in this nation’s 3rd
largest city
, next
to a giant &
filthy lake.
I have awakened
in the near-constant
& heard the sirens
and the cautionary tale
of reversing garbage trucks
(nearer still, my
Lake Shore Drive,
to thee)
& have layered my
clothing thrice to
defeat the wet knife
of wind from the Lake,
and wondered-
no, cursed-
the misery
I’ve chosen in
being another
in a sea of same

to see the shadows
downtown that make dusk
permanent and turn
away from the
besotted corpse begging change
and focusing on the spare
seconds of warmth from
my cigarette.
I’ve lit that cigarette
walking out of
Dunkin’ Donuts
(for reasons known
only to the Gods)
and grimaced
at the slamming
closed of loading dock
doors and truck hatches.
I’ve watched
crazed indigents
burn corrugated cardboard
desperately and have
read the vapid advertisements
on the side of various buses
and taxi-cabs
made inconsequential
by the vacuous life
I am living.
Praise God, then,
for life is as it is.


At December 30, 2004 at 2:50 PM, Blogger Scott Jones said...

Superb, sir.

At January 2, 2005 at 11:02 PM, Blogger kinsey said...

you comment on my blog, and i often want to comment on yours but feel that i would be trite in commenting on your poetry. however, i should like to say that i enjoyed these two poems very much. that is all.

At January 3, 2005 at 7:51 AM, Blogger Underling said...

This might be my favorite one so far.

I applaud thee, Master Marty.

At January 4, 2005 at 10:55 AM, Blogger Scott Jones said...

I have planned on coming back to this one. Because I assume that you want not only praise for your art but discussion to arise from it, for it is stimulating.

So, my question. I like the juxtaposition of your Wisconsin camping life with the city. It is poetically wonderful. But couldn't the point be made that the problems of the city are more our "fault"? As we saw last week, the natural world is horrendous itself.

Mom, Revis, and I went trout fishing. The woods were lovely. But I stood there and said to Mom, "Do you see it?" "What?" "There is a war going on. The pine trees are killing the hardwoods."

At January 4, 2005 at 11:17 AM, Blogger Tack City said...

That's interesting, Scott. It's true that most of the negative impressions in the 2nd verse or version (or what have you) are man-made- though notice that the wind is a moist knife or something to that effect.
Though it isn't the most defensible position, I tend to see man as a virus that was let loose on this planet, bent on using it to death. And as much as that conflicts with my desire to help everybody and try to fix all the shit that's wrong with the world, I do kind of think it's true.
Maybe this is ultimately a reflection of myself, but I think humans are a pretty lousy bunch that refuse to get up off the floor and take their medicine.
If I could quote a line from a not-entirely-quotable movie, Seven: "Ernest Hemmingway said this world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I think he was half-right."
That idea is more of my point with this poem/s. I'd prefer to leave the city and move to Wisconsin or better yet Oregon, but I do have some unfinished business here, business that may never be finished. We live in a pluralistic world. I'm not pluralistic. I'm dualistic. That's a toxic way to live, but it's what I've always had.

Not that the author's intent has any bearing on the readers interpretation. It doesn't and it shouldn't. So, forgive me for saying anything about it.

At January 17, 2005 at 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

marty! wow it was so cool to meet you in person and then see the inner workings of your mind in the outbreak session.. anyway, you made me promise to email you those pictures, and as soon as my computer gets reconnected online, I will. But first, I must have your email address.... mine is:
merry christmas, happy post midwinter. -natalie

At January 19, 2005 at 12:02 PM, Blogger michael said...

Best one i have read yet... (in my opinion)i like the images that came to mind while reading it. and i like that you explained what you were thinking about it. gives it another meaning for me. nice.

At January 21, 2005 at 4:41 PM, Blogger Jerry said...

Marty... I'm waiting patiently for more. Okay, not so patient. I'm ready for another Psalm. Please?

At January 24, 2005 at 8:59 AM, Blogger michael said...

i know that you have a new one written, and i think it is time for you to post it. i need more from you Marty.

At February 7, 2005 at 2:22 PM, Blogger ali said...

Love, love, love this one. My forehead is wrinkling though. I don't like you living up there with your cigarette warmth and desiring for cleaner lakes, or what have ye. Course... only you know the mission. And it looks as though you've chosen to take it. So I guess that means it doesn't matter if I don't like you being among the coldness. That does it. I'm dragging my husband up there SOON. You need our hot air.

At October 9, 2005 at 5:09 AM, Blogger Quit Smoking said...

Hello fellow fisherman,

Did you know that 16% of the U.S. population goes fishing at least 16 days a year?

Did you also know that over 75% of the nations fishermen do not fish during "prime time"; fish feeding hours?

Those precious few moments before twilight can be absolutely magical. Even up until 11pm at night, the largest predators of any species feed ravenously.

Don't believe me? Check out Daniel Eggertsen's story, and a picture of a couple of his catches here : "Evening Secrets plus more"

I want you to do me a favor and try it out so I can see what you think of it, and if it works for you as well as it did for me.

You will be one of the first to try it out.

Gone Fishin',



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