Friday, June 7, 2013

thoughts on a Chris Madoch poem


We who are true
Never forget the scent of death-
Its odour always there at our dangerous births
Sickly, prior to our first cries. Yes,
We taste that ever present love
With our first intake of breath.

In the absence of this daunting thought
No grits ever sit working in our unique oyster
Haunting our lives to be endlessly creative,
Vivid, rare, painting, writing, in some way relating
The flora and fauna from all the mind’s corners
Of an elsewhere world alive with black pearls.

It is my memory of that primal stench
That gives me reason to suspect your lame inventions-
They stink of rose ink and pink lunettes.

Chris Madoch: Copyright 2013: All Rights Reserved.

Mr. Madoch doesn't need my opinion. He said what he wished to say and is simply presenting to readers the result, giving them the option of experiencing a piece of his consciousness. I'm no critic and no longer know a damn thing anyway. But knowing and being affected by are, perhaps, different categories.

What strikes me first is how these lines flow with an elegiac rhythm, halfway between the condition of music and the miracle of breathing. The word "primal" appears, and it's a good word. Poems that burn through the web of ordinariness, in order to reach essence, are poems that affect me. Nostalgia is different than the forceful weight of shadows behind and within a strangeness of pure memory. This poem opens up the inner eye, and that eye glances back over a continuum of melancholy.

There can be no true art without melancholy. (Sorry. I said I no longer knew a damn thing. I shouldn't make such knowing pronouncements.)

This is a death-haunted poem. But like Novalis, who found beauty and meaning in his "Hymn to the Night," this poet in this poem sings to me of the nightmare's inspiring frisson. And of elsewhere's black pearls. Death haunts and enlarges Imagination.

I would be a poor non-critic who knows not a damn thing anymore if I failed to register a mild complaint. I sense the poet scolding those who don't delve darkly, whose creations are thus anemic and banal. It seems to me that those others would, ipso facto, not know what the poet is talking about. Those others have minds intrinsically shut off from the poet's own complaint. They would, therefore, be immune to a possibility of heeding its significance or of correcting their courses.

1 comment:

  1. I was "hooked" on the wit of Chris for some time, but cannot currently process it. This is one of his best.