Friday, November 29, 2013

To Keep the Sun Coming Up Every Day


From one of my favorite poets:

"Regret"

There's no use in regret. You can't change anything.
Your mother died unhappy with the way you turned
out. You and your father were not on speaking terms
when he died, and you left your wife for no good
reason. Well, it's past. You may as well regret missing
out on the conquest of Mexico. That would have been
just your kind of thing back when you were eighteen:
a bunch of murderous Spaniards, out to destroy a
culture and get rich. On the other hand, the Aztecs
were no great shakes either. It's hard to know whom
to root for in this situation. The Aztecs thought they
had to sacrifice lots of people to keep the sun coming
up every day. And it worked. The sun rose every day.
But it was backbreaking labor, all that sacrificing.
The priests had to call in the royal family to help,
and their neighbors, the gardener, the cooks.... You
can see how this is going to end. You are going to
have your bloody, beating heart ripped out, but you
are going to have to stand in line, in the hot sun, for
hours, waiting your turn.

~Louis Jenkins, from Tin Flag: New and Selected Prose Poems. Will o' the Wisp Books, 2013



Louis Jenkins is an American poet living in Duluth, Minnesota. You'll find other poems by him at the archival link for The Beat. Yes, my poem is in good company.
http://www.kaxe.org/programs/the-beat.aspx




15 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this, Teresa. Both funny and insightful.

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    1. Yes, I thought so, too. BTW: I left comments on three of your recent posts but none of them have shown up .... just wanted you to know ...

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  2. Thanks, Teresa, for the heads up on your comments not being posted. I haven't received them. Could you give me some idea of when you posted the comments. It may be that something is wrong with my site. I've noticed that several people who usually comment have not been commenting lately.

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  3. To follow up, Teresa, your comments never appeared in my e-mail, which is where I usually receive them, but I just discovered them in the "awaiting moderation" file. How this happens I don't know, but I just published all of your comments. Thanks again for the head up.

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    1. Blogger's shenanigans .. :) I'm glad the mystery was solved ...

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  4. Wow. That's a very powerful poem. I read it twice and then rested. I'll read it once more before I move on. Thanks, Teresa.

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    1. There are some wonderful insights residing inside this poem ...

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  5. Again, and once more - a wondrous poem.

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  6. I must spend more time on that KAXE site! I love the richness of perspective suggested by these: "The Aztecs were no great shakes either" side by side with "Pavarotti, in moonlight."

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    1. What a beautiful observation. Thank you for that. I'm such a big fan of Mr. Jenkins perspective.

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  7. Hej Teresa, that's great and his words fit with how we are today and how we have always been .

    Grethe ´)

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    1. "...how we are today and how we have always been..." yes, I so appreciate that you really see the truth behind these ideas. Thank you, Grethe.

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  8. Why did I think this was sooo funny! The shock, irony, and hilarious rant just struck my funny bone. I really enjoyed this narration. I would have loved to meet the author!

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    1. It is .. very funny ... in the most human of ways. It's what I love about his poetry ... life tinged with humor. He does seem like a person who would be fun to meet.

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