Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Good Poem By Conversationalist: Alex Stein - "Song of the World"

Song of the World

Distinction means echo,
and I don't like that.
There are enough parts,
How is the river di-
vided from the sea?
By our distinction!
All the earth is sea,
and all the men and women
just watermuck that arose
from the sea and walked.
We are a vegetation
of the moon, perhaps.
Our dreams are certainly
fertilized by something
other than sap.
Something lighter,
Something more like
the moonlight itself.
Something more like the
moonlight that plays across
your white skin, and something
less like your wife.
This light I hold here,
beneath my hand, something
more fragile than life.

"Alex Stein

told us "Leda and the Swan" is the greatest lyric poem in the English language, perhaps it is not. I incline more torward Auden's "Lullabye," all but the last stanza. Love poems and poems about "spirit," those are all I write. There is a huge world of signs and symbols out there, I suppose, I don't know really. My voice is limited to a tiny little sphere of influences: Eros, Cupid..Eros, Cupid...and Eros...oh, and Cupid, as well..." More at Kimera.
  • See our conversation together at The Michigan Quarterly Review: Lorna Dee on Memphis Minnie, Genocide, and Identity Politics
  • . If you like the interview give a shout out to MQR and send them a subscription. And check back for future postings of snippets of another long conversation with me, Alex and the best unpublished novelist I've ever met (Ali, I haven't read your novel yet), Fred Baca. (Unpublished signed conract in hand — due to his refusal to change the main character, a well-rendered "white" woman, into a Chicano. Ha! And you thought chicano writers had it easy, just using their religion, and "cashing in on their ethnicity. Xiish.) Interview will soon be published, but, with their permission, I'd like to post some sections of it. Hmmm, perhaps Alex would allow us to post a section of the conversation he had with poet/artist, Cecilia Vicuña, and presented at the Latina Letters Conference? Stunning and interesting.

    Alex Stein is the author of one of my favorite books of prose poems he calls short tales, DARK OPTIMISM, and busy writing his dissertation in Creative Writing at Denver University, currently titled, A Book of Tellings. A librarian, he lives in Boulder with his two children.


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