I am trying not to lie to you, trying not to say I am a body
that breaks into blossom whenever I see horses, like James
Wright famously wrote. I once believed in the psalmic line,
which is one way to get out of one’s self; alcohol is another.
Some poets use both. I certainly did, until neither worked
anymore. Things detached from names can be seen, witnessed,
but naming things sates the hunger God’s absence leaves. Poetry
is two parts pilgrimage, one part education. The shrines are
different for everyone—childhood, the past, the Edenic place,
maybe the unthawed snow burying a neighbourhood in 1975.
All of it deserves its share of worship, of praise, despite half
the people sleeping in those houses in 1975 now being extinct.
Even the World War II veteran who sold us pop and chips
out of the back of the Legion. Stan with his one good eye.