Guest poem submitted by Chris Boese:
(Poem #1505) Good Linemen Live in a Closed World
Good linemen live in a closed world -- they move Inside themselves to move themselves against The others and their violence -- they give To interior visions whole seasons no good sense Would approve -- their insides creak and groan, crying A thing that's trapped along the line is shrill And curious and wants out. Bodies playing Laugh and dream to gain the massive will Their trade requires. These men maintain, they attack, They suffer repetition for years and years. Part war and similar to art, their work Is sometimes elegant. Inside their fears At the closed center of one fear, they move Quickly against themselves with a massive love.
I'd like to nominate a poem to honor my great teacher and the wonderful Southern poet James Whitehead, who passed away last Friday [several months ago now - ed.]. This poem from his book _Local Men_ gives a different cast to the traditional love sonnet. Its theme is love, but it crawls inside the punishing line of (what for Jim was) the Vanderbilt football team. The prosody is as tight as the line must be. Not a word is wasted. I never had Jim's ear for prosody, and he sometimes had to whack me on the head to help hear the beat. This is also one of his most famous poems. Chris Boese.