Saturday, September 03, 2005
New Orleans poet David Brinks
David Brinks and Andre Codrescu are the founders of the New Orleans School for the Imagination in the French Quarter--"right above the Gold Mine Saloon"--a non-profit oganization for poetry, arts, yoga, and buddhist thought. They had just built brand new studio space in which they were planning to offer Saturday poetry workshops.
Codrescu is the editor of the journal Exsquisite Corpse. This poem by David Brinks is in their online issue:
the red earth
I was born from a gentle rise
in the left trouser-leg
of my father
my mother's kiss formed me into a fish
inside their volcano of approval
I discovered a legendary
moonsplit plum where I slept
an eternal history
of nine months
in the land of trembling water
the great earthquake of my mother's body
was my first poem
I think this poem appeals to me right now partly because of the line "in the land of trembling water." I am also drawn to its depiction of beauty being created out of an arbitrary meeting and born from a violent event. The speaker is formed in a "volcano," sleeps in the seemingly eternal but ultimately temporary security of a "moonsplit plum," then is born when that security is shattered by a bodily "earthquake."
This birth is the speaker's "first poem," a statement that claims the poem as experience and a state of being rather than an artificial process. It also declares the poem as a birth, a creation; aligning the poem with birth imbues it with inherent mystery, humanity, and pain.