Thursday, March 2, 2017

Faculty Voices with Ron Koertge: Re-Vision Part 2

Before reading this post, be sure to check out part one to see where this poem started.

So I thought about the poem and in my own pagan way prayed about it and worked on (re-visioned)  the last third or so.

The Plane Doesn’t Crash But the Landing is So Rough
There’s a Lot of Screaming

Right next to the airport is a gentlemen’s
club where all the dancers wear Santa
hats.  I have a stiff drink, slip 20

to the topsy-turvy down girl on the pole,
then enter the freeway tentatively, like
a horse at the ocean.

Windows down, I hear John Coltrane
from the nearest Camaro and near
1st and Hill a congregation praying
from a rooftop.  
I’m not quite sure what to do with
my other life, the one that ended
on the tarmac where the ambulances

It rides alongside me making mordant
jokes about the seatbelt.

Home at last, I park beside an electric
reindeer lying on its side and twitching.

Lighted windows.  On the shadowy
porch the smokers are changelings,
shape shifters.

We go inside together, that other life
and I.  My wife says, “Oh, there you
are.  I was starting to worry.”

Her other life looks at mine and bursts
into tears.

Ah ha.  Now the turn in the 4th stanza is a portent I can live with.  As is the new character, “my other life.”  Now there’s some accord between it, the fallen reindeer, and the shape shifting smokers. The tears in the last stanza seem more, as we say, earned.

I’m probably another draft or two away from being completely happy with it.  I’m not sure about mordant.  And there’s a chance that whole little stanza can go.  

We’ll  see.  A little more prayer, maybe some chardonnay, a good night’s sleep and anything is possible.

*Ron Koertge is a faculty member at Hamline's MFAC program. He writes poetry for everyone, fiction for young adults, and recently co-authored a young reader series. You can discover Ron's literary work by visiting his author's website or visit his faculty page to learn about him as a professor at Hamline University.

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