This poem was written by my friend and colleague, Eric Bliman, before he came to MFA@FLA, when he still lived up North and could only, like the rest of us, imagine Florida.The poem was one of the first works by a peer that I read in grad school. He and Saara and I met at Coffee Culture on a sweltering August day to smoke cigarettes and read each other's work at one of the little round outdoor tables on NW 13th St. This poem got under my skin and has never gotten out.
Fittingly, it was published just a month after we graduated, in 42opus (an online poetry mag), Vol. 7 No. 2, June 2007. (It is reprinted here without Eric's or 42opus's permission, though I'm sure at least the former would forgive me.) It is a ghazal (pronounced "huzzle" with a guttural "h")--an ancient Persian form.
A child might dream this sadness of a room into Florida.
No hoarded orange blossoms make it bloom into Florida.
What weird alchemical makeover spun this storage dun to gold,
A geriatric's heaven, where nine-irons loom into Florida?
Might some young Einstein not re-fuse this bleak-appointed nucleus,
Re-tool its quarks, by Bunsen's blue-tongued flame, into Florida?
A shuttle's launch-pad's last earth house to satellites and men.
Canaveral thrusts its hot flamingo plume into Florida.
"Life would be a dream," the neon Wurlitzer insists. I'd add:
If we could safely teleport--"sha-boom!"--into Florida.
Why kid? Aren't grownups, poet, brave enough to dream?
Best ask the crested waves that drive salt spume into Florida.
~Eric M. Bliman
(NB: I admired this poem so much that it inspired, eventually, my ghazal published in the current issue of Main Channel Voices. Mine is a Florida poem too--an homage to Eric, who I always thought was a very good poet.)
Posted by Brooklyn Girl at 10:37 AM