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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Re-Place of Fire

 For some time now I have been intending to "illustrate" Al's poem, 'Place of Fire'. Al begins by talking of smokestacks, then about the fireplace and chimney at the A-frame.

"Ours is twenty feet. And still climbing./ 
Ingredients: limestone from an 1840 Regency cottage (I told Bill Knox he was nuts to tear it down/historic stone from the Roblin gristmill site;/ anonymous stone from Norris Whitney's barnyard;/and some pickup loads from Point Anne quarry./-All this to toast marshmallows?"

"gathering ingredients for a poem"

 I can almost hear this last line delivered in Al's querulous tone.

Well, Al. Feast your eyes on this. Today when I visited the A-frame, Lawence and his colleague were doing some much needed work on that smokestack of yours. In fact, it had been reduced pretty much to a stack of stones in the yard.

But the future looks bright ahead.
Now you boys put those back where they belong!
 And just because I love these lines:

"Of course what I'm actually doing, or seeming to,
is telling anyone reading this how to write a poem:
so build your fireplace, raise your stone tower,
fall in love, live a life, smell a flower,
throw a football, date a blonde, dig a grave
-in fact, do any damn thing, but act quickly!
Go ahead. You've got the kit.

from Place of Fire, in Sundance at Dusk (1976)

Anyone for marshmallows?

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