----- Original Message -----
From: Halvard Johnson
To: Johnson Halvard
Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 9:33 AM
Subject: Poems by others: Ann Lauterbach, "Gramercy Park Evening"
Gramercy Park Evening
I am, in these instances, aware
there is much to be desired, much left to desire,
and the rest abided. The late hour has everything
turned down; even the constant fleet of wheels
is another noise: less. I was trying to sleep
and to imagine us near the sea, the light
skinny and unhedged, the sea
a ribbed plate, a wide blue absolute
into which pink is introduced like an idea in music.
Desire is an aspect of ethics; belief is not.
You can move a peach across the table
without changing its color but the light, this light,
casts a shadow of doubt. What we perceive
is part dream, part deceit; what we want
touches knowledge. The park is something you
could not know about: late afternoon, a walk,
the walk I sometimes took towards a cadence
of real images: the gate, the grass, the lock.
There was a sense that things were lit
from within, of high, shut carriages and women in hats.
fr. Many Times, But Then (1979)
in If in Time: Selected Poems: 1975-2000
[New York: Penguin Poets, 2001]
This is really really really terrible. The word "light" - usually pronounced, at readings, with a kind of tearful gurgle before the l and a breathy-ecstatic gasp after the t; the "you" interpolated like a bumper between speaker and reader; the gassy-ethereal non-situation and non-emotions; the emphasis on "images" - otherwise she'd haveta mention "language" --- I've noticed this poet before; she seems to be respected by po-biz flacks. And why not? In her, Langpo meaningless mates elegantly with Mainstream triviality.