UM TEDx and a Skink Undergrad Poem (wince)
by William Skink
Missoula’s TEDx will be Friday, February 20th on campus. X = independently organized TED event. TED is an acronym for the ever expanding series of lectures that focus on Technology, Entertainment and Design.
This year’s lineup looks fun, if you’re into that kind of thing. Considering the theme is language, I checked to make sure there was a poet represented, and sure enough I saw they wisely selected Sheryl Noethe.
I’ll add my two cents here about language, specifically the fits and starts of developing writers. The move I recently made required dealing with a tremendous amount of crap. There were file cabinets long forgotten with all kinds of papers. We had lived in this house for over 13 years, and the secretions of my undergraduate work at UM had never been properly dealt with. So I sifted and tossed through the mounds, getting distracted in reading decade-old poems and journals.
Not much in those early years stands up to time. I mostly wince at what I wrote, hearing the clumsily appropriated styles of other writers.
Despite the wince factor, sometimes I’m reminded of the experimental flourishes that surprised me at the time, and still do all these years later. I wrote the following poem I think in 2005, and it still strikes me as strange in a way I don’t really get. For what it’s worth.
SEEKING THY CREATURE CALM
It was revealing you hating me so
I wondered if ever I might dance again
I searched in the aching woods
And found frightening proof of untidiness
O how thy star might revel free
If not for this crass plan, you wretch
Thy skin like a film over water
Is bereft of its target, so fetch
No, thy skin never knew these woods, love
And her eyes never saw thy mess
The too many places of your aim
Colored with thy Rosiest distress
But that star in your eyes, void of name
Acts like The Hunter’s claimed prize
The Kingdom hasn’t pillars of fame, love
Just trees in the shrinking wild
If love is a grub, you’re the woodpecker
While the stink in the air hovers close
And the leaf that is lung is so yellowing sad
That I cannot even mention The Rose
If only the scent of time paused
Thy grub might butterfly free
And you and your creature calm
Would leave the rest of us be