Saturday, April 20, 2013

Buck Owens Poem

This poem has virtually nothing to do with Buck Owens. I wrote it sitting on the bank of the Rock River when I lived right there under the bridge in a cheap motel. It was a great couple of years. I had cable television. 

Buck Owens 

I'm on to this 
I mean I'm wrapped 
Around its words 
Like an earnest 
Intention to pay 
The rent or learn 
Another language. 

I'm losing this 
Poem like a 
Drunken cowboy 
Being tossed from 
A reluctant bull-

When I lived there I learned that the location had been a Native American fishing village and later an artists retreat. The river didn't flood those years, but I was told it did every fourth or fifth year, and that has held true since I heard it. This poem went into Submerged Structures. I was surprised at how much minimalism and surrealism I used in that book considering how visceral and vulgar my real-life experience was. Maybe just a coping mechanism. Reading this poem again I can see it was about having a free afternoon from the bar and really wanting to make the most of it to capture a poem or two. I can also see how the subject matter is utterly solipsistic and I was really writing that poem so I could see it later and remember I was there that day. 
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