In and Out of Notebooks


in and out of notebooks
the day unfolding in paper
leaves fallen ones bound
in and out in and out
with no purpose
and then with purpose equally
at odds a kind of windlessness
no purpose being
where words found
bring with them something
no news can carry
but what we come for
I know this has nothing
but everything but by God
it's hard it is and it isn't
courage it's outside
of the dreaming known
to go there
never mind to get there

Jim Bodeen
5 January 2017

I settle on a letter
a foundation
a kind of platform
the kind of thing
one does leaving
the office to those
left behind oh yes

a letter to a writer
of columns relatively
famous with a father
who asked for no quarter
other than learn a language
and a brother on a boat
this woman speaks to me
and I want to say thanks
with all that can be mustered
she lives in the city of politicians
and willfulness and this is all
what I give myself to
writing her trying for nothing
more giving it my all
I tell her what
I found there over time

Jim Bodeen
5 January 2017


Temperature in the car
reads -6 degrees outside
but it's tropical inside
surrounded by generations
ancestors we lost track of
addressing memory
music entering the right ear
where I'm placed in the trees
of being, the boy who is me
years and decades ago
walking the gravel road
just outside of city limits
in the North Dakota town
BB gun in hand
just past Shit Creek
and that yellow Meadowlark
on the fence post singing

This morning Karen driving
sun coming up on snow-covered
hills the purple sky behind us
me with the Merwin poems
in the passenger seat
accompanying all this
I read one line aloud
turning to the children
but happiness has a shape made of air
Karen saying, Explain that one,
wondrous invitation,
it was never owned by anyone
it comes when it will in its own time
Me trying to hang on to just this
for now it doesn't matter
without in fact getting it
or not surrounded as I am

Jim Bodeen
6 January 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment