May 17, 2007


I wrote for myself for people.
           I’ve changed,
I’ve changed since I began writing
           I write for myself. I believe
more than ever in music, in the sound,
               however gotten, of music
in people’s poetry. Rhyme
more than ever. Talk
          people talking, getting that
into one’s poetry that
is my poetics. Love
hate lies laughing stealings
self-confession, self-destruction.
No one has to read them. No one
has to publish them.
               I am more
and more for unpublished poetry.
That is why I have a pseudonym, that
is why I now publish poetry.
To hell with the Business
of Anthologies. To hell with Anthologies.

One way and another I have written angry
for twenty years. Now I want music and
the sounds of people.
I want poems that use the word heart and
self-confession and incorrect
grammar and the soils and stains of Neruda
and Lorca and Kabir and Williams and
Whitman and Yeats.

Forty-four years old. Stand on my head
ten minutes daily morning
breakfast, supper.
Writing less and less.
Evaporating into the air
feet first. I won’t
ever die. I’ll simply
stand on my head
and disappear into the
air just like that.

I don’t believe in imagination. The prairies
as a landscape are imagination. England is,
as a landscape, a failure of imagination.
Kenya is imagination, India
is reaching even further
than that. And that is why I will
go to India which I will in seven
days time. So this
is a time capsule
in case anyone is
interested and in case
I never come back.

     Goodbye for
     now, goodbye
     goodbye goodbye
     to myself,
     goodbye goodbye
     for now
     goodbye myself,
     goodbye for
     now goodbye.

—Robert Sward
Copyright 2004, 2007, reprinted with permission of author
from The Collected Poems, 1957-2004, Black Moss Press, 2004.

Posted by dwaber at 12:47 PM