Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My Favorite Poem

One of my ex girlfriend's introduced by to this poem, originally published in 1981. I believe it is famous because it was used as an example in "Postmodernism, or the Logic of Late Capitalism" (1984) by Fredric Jameson, and a lot of other people as they talked about New Narrative in poetry. I don't know what that means, and I don't read a lot of poetry (although I did have dreams of being a poet when I was 10). What I do know is that this contains a lot of lines that really resonate with me. My favorite is, "If it rains, you either have your umbrella or you don't." Or "the train takes you were it goes." In other words, it is what it is, so stop worrying about it.

China by Bob Perelman

We live on the third world from the sun. Number three. Nobody tells us what to do.

The people who taught us to count were being very kind.

It's always time to leave.

If it rains, you either have your umbrella or you don't.

The wind blows your hat off.

The sun rises also. I'd rather the stars didn't describe us to each other; I'd rather we do it for ourselves.

Run in front of your shadow.

A sister who points to the sky at least once a decade is a good sister.

The landscape is motorized.

The train takes you where it goes.

Bridges among water.

Folks straggling along vast stretches of concrete, heading into the plane.

Don't forget what your hat and shoes will look like when you are nowhere to be found.

Even the words floating in air make blue shadows.

If it tastes good we eat it.

The leaves are falling. Point things out.

Pick up the right things.

Hey guess what? What? I've learned how to talk. Great.

The person whose head was incomplete burst into tears.

As it fell, what could the doll do? Nothing.

Go to sleep.

You look great in shorts. And the flag looks great too.

Everyone enjoyed the explosions.

Time to wake up.

But better get used to dreams.

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