aesthetic

boys smoking on porch

interesting, the skilled
old surfers… hogging,
bending
the waves.

more intelligent,
the boys pushed
aside,
strongly delicate,
curl
of wave —

how beautiful, they see
pelicans
dive
glide
skimming and skim again
the skins of ocean;
fly to the sun.

4 thoughts on “aesthetic

  1. this one from 2003. the important thing is the title, ‘aesthetic’. it’s not a picture of anything but an attitude wrapped inside a mood and curled into a feeling. people have critted this to say that i should expand the images and give more and take away some. when, what i want is exactly in this piece itself… concision in the world of chaos, and understanding in a world of what seems to be narcissistic self-indulgence. “how the poet saw the surfers”… that’s what this is about. watch the poet watching.

  2. I think images should be objective truth and only in truth is there true beauty. Some images do work for me and some linger a bit too long. Not sure “skins of ocean” sounds good, either. Makes me think of potato chips floating on the water.

  3. Mike: I’m just saying rewrites never hurt, and sometimes years later you can come back and make a poem even better. I think sometimes you over-analyze, but all I was saying is that beauty is objective in an evolutionary way.

    Beauty is an evolutionary function that attracts things, such as bees to a flower.

    We, as poets, can give the feeling of objective beauty by creating a sense of poise or symmetry in the same way. We can give images and certain word choices a poised, absolute feeling much in the same way someone can feel something deep when a guitarist hits a set of notes or a painter uses certain proportions and colors.

    Chaotic imagery can also be rendered beautiful (such as describing a destroyed city), and it’s because one ironically frames it in an ordered and symmetrical manner.

  4. Mike: I think you could’ve improved a lot over the years, but I think your “60 years” of poetry experience was very muted due to some pathological need to never adapt to and actually fight criticism.

    I’ve merely given my insight and in no time flat you’re attacking my reading comprehension and my authenticity as a poet, even though I write poetry and that makes me a poet.

    Pretty good stuff.

    Good poetry shouldn’t need some magical level of awareness that doesn’t exist in order for the average reader to get it.

    Not knowing the references to a poem is one thing, but when a poem is lacking structure or readability then that’s universal.

    But you’re suggesting there is some unexplainable “spider-sense” for poetry and only a few chosen mortals have it.

    That’s about as parochial as saying it rains because the Gods are crying.

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