If you are expecting a lyric expression of
spring’s promise or an alliterative list of the quiet
beauty I can see just looking out the second
floor window and into the backyard, this
poem will disappoint you.
I am having a difficult time this spring moving my
mind into a lyric frame and I do not see much promise
in my backyard either, spring or otherwise. The
plants are tired: the lilacs are played out, budding
green, but there will be no violet announcements and
the holly has been thinned by careless ash and
the old pussy willow is good for
furry buds, but only
at the very tips of branch and
the lawn is a dry beige, ripped occasionally
into dark brown slashes by our baby
shepherd and the irises are thick, but
flowers few and I fear this will be the year
I must cut down the pink rhododendron, the
previous winter and last year’s dry summer have
transformed in stages its rubbery leaves from
deep green to yellow, now many curled
brown, earth ready.
The plastic picnic table and chairs are dingy, ready
for the mold of spring, the grills are rusting and should
have found their way into the garage for winter and my
artistic plans for the plywood scraps that have been leaning
against said garage remain unattained and the garage itself
needs to be repaired in the least or razed and re-built.
So this poem written while looking out the window
into the spring’s backyard is not about promise or
re-birth or beauty or any of the other bullshit attendant
in poem’s about looking out a window and into the
drizzling spring morning.
It is about failure, which nags
always, no matter the season.
It is about withering which is as evident in
spring, as it is in the other three.
It is about the beauty becoming something other and having to
twist it, turn it, cram it to still make it fit into the word beauty, the
beauty of decline is an oxymoron, a literary trick.
It is about your expectation as you pick up and begin reading a
poem with the word spring in its title.
It is also about blind belief in words on a page because even though
I told you this poem would disappoint you, you kept expecting me
to come to my senses and deliver myself from darkness, to admit
I was full of shit and that spring is indeed about promise and re-birth.
But that belief is contingent upon your believing I am looking out the window into
the backyard spring, but I am not looking out window into spring’s backyard, I
am sitting, rather uncomfortably I might add, on the floor, at the coffee
table in my living room that looks not out into spring’s backyard, but into
the recently swept street, the morning traffic, the usual routine and my
legs have fallen asleep and I should get up to see what the dog is
chewing on rather than continuing to type this poem and since I
am coming clean here the rhododendron is not in the backyard at
all it is in the front yard, I moved it for the sake of showing that death
always exists alongside promise and I gave this poem the
title it has because no one wants to read a poem entitled, “Poem written as I
sit at the coffee table, kvetching, while my legs fall asleep and
the dog chews on the piece of plastic that ten minutes ago
was an eyeball attached to one of her stuffed toys…”