Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Stephen Bett Puns Buddha Love, The Locked Drawer of Spiritual Fatigue, Agoraphobia, and Learning Emptiness

Back Principles (14) : Keats & Rilke coming up again (& damned Spicer, too)

Who sees into me
… has mine heart?

Too easily tossed
(on a heap, on
a mound)

This inning is
future time
(grace time …?)

I would take
a pitcher
of you

Drink it, bat it
out of here
it takes

I lose myself
completely, am
struck dumb
in your

Where is my
ground, where
is my Heysus
spinning to

This (heady) gain
is nerve loss

It is mystery
one enters
(& possibly
alive …)
Witless &
& unafraid
to say so
(god help

Look in mine
eyes & give
me your
I have none
that doesn’t
shake the bases
loose in the

Look in mine
eyes, I have
forgotten how
to see

Back Principles (34) : spiritual fatigue

This is surely
spiritual fatigue
(on the loose)
(at loose ends)

Backed into a corner
(loosely speaking)

Back me, back
me not …

My back is knotted

Lies bound in a
locked drawer

When it creaks open
pray for something

Pray there is

You will not
have my back
beyond this

It will be loose
at ease, or it
will be

Back Principles (52) : agoraphobic 

Big spaces are
made of this

Phoenix to Yuma

The christ to
the buddha …
terrifying too

Hold my back (pls)
the landscape
would break
it in halves

big space

Holding emptiness
in my hands

Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet. His earlier work is known for its sassy, edgy, hip… caustic wit―indeed, for the askance look of the serious satirist… skewering what he calls the ‘vapid monoculture’ of our times. His more recent books have been called an incredible accomplishment for their authentic minimalist subtlety. Many are tightly sequenced book-length ‘serial’ poems, which allow for a rich echoing of cadence and image, building a wonderfully subtle, nuanced music. Bett follows in the avant tradition of Don Allen’s New American Poets. Hence the mandate for Simon Fraser University’s “Contemporary Literature Collection” to purchase and archive his “personal papers” for scholarly use. He is recently retired after a 31-year teaching career largely at Langara College in Vancouver, and now lives with his wife Katie in Victoria, BC.     www.stephenbett.com 

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