the writing of poetry

by Jerry Ratch


We write poetry, but are unable to calm ourselves. We need more men of the world (like you) who are not too much amazed by experience. Men who can lead a dual life. Who have sexuality but remain detached, whole. The bodily, the sensual, easy give and take of the eyes (where the soul is) and the animal.


We need to go back into the wilderness, so we can find our way out of it.


In my dream we are in this painting (detail of La Grande Jatte) and I am pulling your head down toward mine as if to embrace you, trying to get you to kiss me, but you're resisting. Stiffly. Your body (with your top hat still in place) bending only slightly, like a bow. I have both arms around your neck, but somehow your body resists my embrace.


I face you, but you face outward toward the world, with both of your arms behind your back as if strolling along the river in your white shirt, in thought, unaware of my presence. Me pulling your neck and making your body bend toward mine, as I stand facing you. But you are facing outward, as I said, toward the world. Looking at the world. And I am in it, too!