by wynn everett
If the backyard finger of The Etowah remained
in first position instead of double stopping, and the
smoke from his cigarette sensed the jig out of date. If
her fork to the bowl, whipping tambourine caw, found
agreeing harmony in Sunday’s rattling page. If
The Grand Ole Opry giggled less at our silence and
her double stitched gospel stayed quilted intact. Daresay today-
institutionalized less. A sensible man with a dry, thirsty pen.

0 thoughts on “raising

  1. I like a certain kind of poetry and this is the pinnacle of it. The amount of time it took me to perceive how it works is a credit to how subtly it was woven. What I perceive:
    It’s about separation. The river in the beginning branching off into two. The fork splitting up what’s in the bowl. The silence between the male and female characters lacking an “agreeing harmony.” The double stitched quilting no longer intact. The poem itself being a couplet.
    It’s basically an intricate If/Then statement to me- ‘If there was no separation, Then the man would be less institutionalized (meaning confined/alone/separated).’
    Then comes what holds the separation in place; the role of music: Double stopping meaning two chords playing at once, describing the life of each separate path of the river, its jig out of date. The violent tambourine caw of the fork in its splitting. The Grand Ole Opry giggling at the deconvergence of the characters. The unraveling of the gospel- a huge piece of the puzzle.
    The role of the music in this represents the scariest thing about losing a lover for me: You suffer the loss and it feels unnatural, like you were being held together and now the hold is broken. But then you realize (yet some people never do) that the hold was not broken. It’s still there, the hold, only holding you apart instead of together; a sinister intentionality in hiding, singing tauntingly in the background, which can make one lose faith in what should have been an all-loving creator. That’s what it meant to me.
    I never knew what the hell anybody was talking about in poetry class a few years back, so I never trust my perception in absolute, and my judgments sometimes only hold value to me. Still, this multi-dimensional writing is floating down master territory to me.

  2. Interesting. Wynn and I actually emailed a bit about this one before it was posted. I was told what it meant from the author and Matt touches on it a bit here. Matt does a great job at finding meaning in this poem. Very thoughtful.
    The photo is from the recent flooding in Nashville.

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