March 13, 2007

Teacher of Writing

Experience pedagogy
John Dewey
Isn’t very poetic
(Or at best
Poetic eclectic)
In getting students
To make local
Writing stops
At words
And yet
Diverse minds align
Yes, we do prefer
Taking the express
If only thinking
Of saving time
Instead of knowing
Syllabic tickling
Comes from somewhere
Between read
And write
And beyond
The reach
Of clock hands
And hurting
Until the grasping
Comes from the stranger

—Will Hochman
from Freer (Pecan Grove Press 2006)

Posted by dwaber at 10:43 AM

March 12, 2007


Not metaphor
Or power
Not author
Or voice
Or character
In you or me
So much as sinew
Legs stretching
Almost wing-like
And running us
Syllabic perhaps
So toughly loved
And brought
Together word by
Fleshy word, alive
With the fear of crossing
White space
Step by terrified step
To arrive
At the wise suspense
Of foot bridge wood,
Always questioning when
Step will or word
Might break
Across the span
Of our human abyss

Imagining a snap
That is jazz
Improvising essences
Seen so clearly,
It seems easy
To become us
Back lit lovingly
With music’s intuition
Words smoothly
Fall into sound
Then read safely
Down from beyond
A spine’s breaking point
To the place where peace
And synapse conduct

So autobiographically
We grow refined
Constant and solid
Like a nerve’s sheathing
More viable
Instantly stable
Yet not guessing
The messages deep inside,
The finally liberating story,
The one where death
Is almost sexy…
Maybe this broken
Moment’s trance
Will reach out then, laser
Printing imaginary winds
Of love flying
Perfectly puckered
In gravity’s last kiss

—Will Hochman
from Freer (Pecan Grove Press 2006)

Posted by dwaber at 10:48 AM

March 11, 2007

Bears of Cheyenne Canyon

This October a host of silent bears
have come to Cheyenne Canyon
like never before.
Tonight’s canyon bear almost looks like
Miles Davis from his In A Silent Way days
—black face, black eyes, brown skin tints
and a black mass surrounding his huge,
shiny head, making it appear
as if the bear had some Round
riffs in his walking away sound,
as if Miles with his late night horn
was playing rhythms endlessly
into this mammalian’s dark
dancing path of experience
and crossing sounds of the night
into sentences
before ears or bears
know best where to bend.

Even this sleepy, city kid
can watch those quiet
lumbering swatches of huge darkness
kindly cross his asphalt street.
In their hungry-eyed stares of wonder,
he thinks these creatures could eat him so easily,
though they want only to rifle and gobble garbage
and amaze us with their ghostly humility
of what the hibernating winter in their blood
needs to become—some dreaming scene
of humans lumbering away, walking
on their tongues and tasting
the truth of earth.

—Will Hochman
from Freer (Pecan Grove Press 2006)

Posted by dwaber at 01:38 PM

March 10, 2007

The Art of Collage in Cracked Italian

This little tile,
a reject from it makers
(one of many
from generations of Rampinis)
transcends borders and time
with its cooked sand and color
almost living and grouted
into the jaundiced skin
and coagulated blood
of an Italian family’s
dead ancestors.

This particular square
of hand-painted tile
cheaply brought its
right angling of yellow,
green, brown, orange and blue
back from Radda, Italy
(a happy place
despite its sound)
to cast “Il Volpe—The Fox”
stirring in front of a Cypress tree,
painted perhaps out of scale
but almost perfect
for all creatures
to see beyond.

The animal’s brown pose
and memories of Italy
warm slowly with
tea brewing the green taste
of earth’s surface on this tile
cracked and cooling
until it seems to taste
its gaze in yours.

“The fox knows many things,
the hedgehog
knows one big thing”

the swift worker
may have thought
as he exiled the flawed tile
just past the furnace
to land on the last table
marked even in English,
and “No Return.”

Broken heart dancer
from mold to fired moment,
these ceramic words
are really all of me
cooked, coming apart
and together again,
broken beautifully
to take stock
that’s me
and think myself
more of a hedgehog
while knowing foxes
(like collage)
import better art.

—Will Hochman
from Freer (Pecan Grove Press 2006)

Posted by dwaber at 01:32 PM