Never Drink Anything Blue

blue drink

“Never Drink Anything Blue” was my tenth offering during last August’s Tupelo Press 30/30 Project. Many thanks to Stop Dragging the Panda, who sponsored and provided the title.

Never Drink Anything Blue

But always keep your options unzipped and
available to whatever slips in; the snake

lives in the attic for the rodents,
but occasionally takes a fledgling peewee

from a nest near its exit, while the scorpion
generally avoids light except for those nights

when moths seem too delectable to pass up.
Our governor whistles Beethoven but switches to

the hymnal when campaigning, and I’ve announced
a need for organic zucchini when craving a craft

beer. Confession is good for the soul, except
when it’s bad for the body. “Think with words,

not with ideas,” Sontag wrote, and Williams said
“no idea but in things.” Of course he was just writing

a poem. Baking is chemistry – measure carefully –
but cook with abandon! Whoever said “keep your

friends close but your enemies closer,” slept
alone most nights, or not at all. Born in Louisiana,

I am the product of an illegal union, but which
half should be interred where? Both sun and

moon rise and set. Is anything incorruptible?
Drink everything blue. Everything.

hymnal

 

28 thoughts on “Never Drink Anything Blue

  1. Heidegger wrote an essay titled “What is a Thing?” – I think he missed the mark. My question is, Is there an ultimate reality we recognize when we distinguish one “thing” from another thing, or just our own culturally derived biases? And there seem to be polyhierarchies of things – how does that work? On what authority do we say that one thing ends here and another begins there? Is it all cultural / linguistic, or is something deeper involved? Is reality a “blooming, buzzing confusion” where we create “things” just by arbitrarily distinguishing them from the rest of the chaotic flow based on what we are as a particular kind of animal on a particular kind of planet? Does “thing” have an ontological reality outside us – And so on.

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    • I believe that our perceptions are colored by our culturally derived biases, to use your phrase, that much of what we hear and see filters through our personal contexts. My head spins when I think about this, and then I turn to poetry.

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  2. Hi Robert, I like your poem and I’m intrigued by the musical choices of your governor. Hymns must have a different power on the campaign trail in your fair land.

    In England, our politicians avoid signalling direct religious belief, if they want to keep voters onside. As Tony Blair put it “If you are in the American political system or others then you can talk about religious faith and people say ‘yes, that’s fair enough’ and it is something they respond to quite naturally. You talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter.”

    That’s not true in Wales.

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    • Many of our politicians take religious stances when it suits them or if it seems favorable to the vote. Being cynical, I assume they’re all lying. But voters fall for their lies time and time again… And of course to them Christianity is the only valid faith even though their actions often seem antithetical to the Christian faith.

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      • It’s interesting to me that ‘religious stances’ are useful shields against criticism over there. It’s so alien to political behaviour here.

        A politician would have to be a known, popular religious figure, now dedicating themselves to politics, for outward shows of religious belief to score points and votes. If the Archbishop of Canterbury stood for Parliament, he’d be expected to pray and sing hymns and all that. Religion is hidden here. They start each day’s business with a Daily Prayer in the House of Commons, but it’s private and closed to the public. The MPs turn to the wall to pray, because they don’t have enough room to kneel with their swords.

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      • Guillible, ignorant, lazy? The information is available, but many choose not to seek it. How could any sentient being support Donald Trump? I think I’ll stop here, as it’s too early in the day to get riled up by politics. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Susi. I had fun writing this one. I’m considering another try at the Tupelo 30-30 challenge, maybe this summer, and if I do, will likely ask people to sponsor titles again. It was fun, and I wrote a bunch of poems that would not otherwise have been written.

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  3. This is off-topic, but I saw that you “liked” Tupelo Press’s WordPress post about the MASS MoCA residency. Wondering, have you done it, or are you considering attending? I’m looking for a residency experience that might be a good fit, and I wonder if you would be willing to share your general impressions, if you have any insights? Thanks, Robert!

    Steph

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  4. Also, this poem’s “out of the box,” collaborative energy is palpably exciting, like you discovered and entered a new, blue bubble of the multiverse! What a fabulous idea to request titles as prompts! How delicious, licentious, & beyond categorization it must feel to drink “everything blue.” I am in a place in life where I’m ready to realize that nothing about me is completely synthesized from within, and that this is the point…

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    • It was quite the experience! Some of the title providers offered background on their titles, which I tried to honor, a few attempted to confound me (great fun), some lobbed “softballs,” to counteract the confounders, for which I was grateful, and a handful merely provided the titles. But none of the poems would have been written if not for the offered titles. I certainly would not otherwise have composed 31 poems in August! And yes, being forced to start from another place was wonderful.

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  5. Dear Robert why does the blue glass image not post up when I post to FB? That image would attrack readers – the books – I think less so.
    Love the poem M

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