Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)

Scarecrow visits Daniel Paul Marshall…

Daniel Paul Marshall

i wrote this relatively quick, i saw the scarecrow pictured & a sort of surreal narrative took shape. i’d like to do more of these after poets-i-know-poems. i’ll be keeping my good eye open.


scarecrow

Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)

i see you with my own eyes—mid-crucifixion

edge of an onion field dressed in tartan & flowers,
the sleeve of its handkerchief hiding a face;
a greedy magpie readying its beak to pick
out that face, i lob a brick to scare it off
& found the face to be but an imagined thing,
a tool, appendage to comfort us— no scars or burns.

How come you’re so far from Okaji’s poems, why leave them?
The stammer of your silence still your own.
We’ll flip a coin & if i win the toss
you must promise to return to those poems;
i’ll hear none of the usual excuses, no best…

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15 thoughts on “Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)

  1. I’m just realizing, I’ve written “after- Shakespeare, Keats, Coleridge, Browning, Poe, Carroll, and Auden” poems, but I quiver at the prospect of an “after Okaji” attempt!

    Daniel’s tribute to you is so very brave and touching!
    💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • i, for a long time lived in the shadow of those great men & was always trying to look for pockets in my poems to leave asides to their work, i never really got around to ‘after-‘ poems, but i definitely had them in mind, i think my list would be different, but certainly well known poets from centuries ago. But after getting into the contemporary mood it started to feel like relying on the past, living under its wing, wasn’t doing my generation any favours, it was hindering our identity. So now it feels much more valuable, even easier to do an after Okaji, because he’s here now, writing good, relevant poems to us living & experiencing this time. i don’t want to suggest we stop reading the greats, nor that we shouldn’t respect their addition to the history of literature, but that by looking to each other, by responding to one another, we go one step further to giving value to the great poets we have now. & of course opening dialogues in anyway, shape or form is another way, even ‘liking’ is taking part in its own way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji) — O at the Edges – jetsetterweb

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