"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Friday, March 26, 2010

Beer Cantos 2008

At age thirty-two I've finally reached the "sophomore year" of my forced enrollment into the sometimes terrifying, but always adventurous, school of hard knocks that is called adulthood: 
I turned down buying cool jeans with blue sequins up to my thigh for plain black ones; I have a mommy haircut, and have graduated to reading glasses; I am never carded when I buy a bottle of wine to make boeuf borguignon.  I gave up beautiful shoes for sensible ones nine years ago.  You think I've sold out or that I'm sad?  I'm not sad--  I'm ecstatic. 
I've graduated from being that nervous kid digging in the trashcan for the retainer into that know-it-all fourteen year-old who confidently leaves the retainer at home.
I'm happy because although I stopped growing taller almost two decades ago, my mind didn't.  New thoughts bloom like Dorothy's lunch pail on the lunch pail tree in the Land of Oz.  I pluck them when they are ripe and unwrap something I've never been quite able to make out before.
Poetry is my new favorite way of unpacking thoughts.  I believe poets are just people whose senses are set to overload.  Writing is how we process the noise. 
Lord Byron, a contemporary of Keats, wrote his famous work, Don Juan, for over one hundred stanzas without finishing it.  (Maybe poets just say too much.)  I remember the first time I bravely opened a collection of Byron's poems and read two stanzas only to declare, "This poem is just about beer!"  Yes, a poem can really be about anything, even beer.

Beer Cantos 2008

Drink me is a curious label
to put on a glass.
You are stupid if you do
everything a label says.
However, I learn five impossible
things before breakfast from what
 labels don't say.

Sedona, Arizona,
Your Ozian Wonderland.
of red fingered mountains
takes my breath away.
If only I were a girl
and not a tired, old mama . . . 

Instead, I will be Alice at this table.
I will toast the White Rabbit,
with his present pocket watch,
and our arrival to the rainbowed
rock formations with my
first sip of

Doc's Pale Ale
with the afterthought of
green olives,
the soft hint of new white sneaker,
and sunbeam dust,

floating forever upward
as I wonder

how will I
ever learn to drink
this stuff.

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