Is Flashback Friday still a thing? Are people still hashtagging this? Or has #ThrowbackThursday stolen the show? What can I say? I like flashing, and my throw is always a little late for whoever is up at bat on Thursday. So here’s a rewind to 2012 when I read my poem, “Overvision,” at Poetry Under the Paintings, Faustina’s Art Gallery in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
You probably need to crank up the volume for my video, but then adjust it back to listen to the gorgeous voice of Frances Uku, who does my poetry an immeasurable kindness in recording this piece also. What a lovely thing to do, and frankly, her reading is my favorite.
The reason this piece is on my mind is that, along with the original poem to which it refers, it helps bookend a new chapbook project I am working on. I’ll let you know how that goes when I know!
Overvision I wrote a poem once about my neighbors and the moon. Each brief line dropped into place as I let them break at their will. The syntax arranged itself just comfortably so. Years later I came back with more education and a better sense of rhythm. I thought I could improve it; make the lines more powerful, the innuendos more profound. But the new ink was too dark for the old page, and my good intentions discolored the moon. I’d awakened a befuddled old man and his angry, fuzzy- slippered wife (I’d forgotten that my old neighbors had moved away long ago). They wanted to know what the hell was going on—who was I? And what had I done to the sky? Too late almost to save it, I took whiteout to the street (the last bottle on the shelf at the all-night mini mart on that same block), dimmed the stars and ushered back to bed the little man and his grumbling wife. That globe of blood still had a pulse— thank heaven, and I let it return to where it had been; on page one of a college literary magazine simple and perfect, hanging low there in that early night sky.
©2010 by David J. Bauman. “Overvision,” winner of a University Prize from the Academy of American Poets and Bloomsburg Univeristy.
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That desire to re-write past work…. almost always a mistake.
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Agreed! It’s different if it’s something that I feel isn’t really done, and I set it aside. Sometimes I come back to things after years, or once a year, but those are always poems that I can sense aren’t really complete. But once it does what it set out to do, there is nothing more that should be done years later, except maybe add a comma. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Brian.
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