Okay, so these eagles have been hanging around outside my apartment, which is cool, but also appears to have another side to it...the sight of an eagle soaring, or sitting, or even snatching fish from the river has become more common place than I ever could have imagined. Also, I've written way more poems about eagles than I am comfortable with and am beginning to feel a certain amount of majesty escaping me. My majesty is a fleeing regularity. Eagles! Please, I need some space from you...
Did you ever read Travis Nichols' new book, "See Me Improving"? It's pretty unbelievable. There is a recklessness to the poems that comes across like man with more power than he knows, who is, nevertheless, letting it all shoot from his fingers. Come what may. The danger is greater than that though. The underlying force to these poems seems to have come on a dare, whether it was one made to himself, or from some outlying source. Each poem is quite goal oriented, but like the kid who spends an entire summer tricking out his bike, nobody is asked to care until you see the thing sitting before you on the first day of school and you can't help but be in awe of not just the bike, but the work and devotion put into it...an example:
On the 730th Day God Made Me Happy
I dreamt we fell in love.
You bought new sheets for the bed
and made dinner from breadcrumbs
and yellow squash. The red-fringed ivy bobbed
as the wind touched it,
stirring the building to feel.
This was before our descent
into winter, when I believed
the world would freeze me
for secretly believing I could be satisfied
forever without fiery ropes
dredging my shoulders nightly.
These are not tricky poems, but they are poems that can do tricks. They are plaintive invitations to sex and the worrisome yarns that come afterward, they are shout outs to friends on pop radio and the realization the next day that no one heard you, but most of all, they are love poems to anything and anyone who looks over the words...the words of a poet who loves simply, but holistically and never apologizes for any of it (but often wonders if he should be).
Travis Nichols could probably make me care about the eagles once more...there's nothing to worry about there.