I rarely take the trouble to interpret my poems for you, Constance…I think it is part of your own pleasure as a reader to dig in and chew, or to imbibe deep and feel the intoxicating buzz later when it enters your blood and sings its song there…dare I even insinuate it is also your responsibility as a poetry lover to allow it to disturb you, or trouble you, or even flummox you until you suss it out?
My poems are hidden inside themselves very frequently. They are one thing on one level, multitudinous other things on other levels, they are always the same unless one word is read with different meaning and all is transformed…
…hey I am a transgirl, so is it any wonder that my poems are like me, someone hidden inside something? Giggles!
Anyway, I want to provide a bit of background to a few things: First of all, I want to tell you what happened after I birthed the poem, and began to go back to clean up my baby, dry off the afterbirth, feed and nurture it to vitality. I immediately began to adjust the women-seasons metaphor. Everyone knows that Spring is the gay and skipping girl, flouncing boldly into Old Lady Winter’s mouldery austere house, throwing up the windows and letting the stale and leaden air out!
The poem did not give that contented groan (like my doggie when I scratched her secret spot) as I attempted to edit! No…it went Dustin Hoffman under Laurence Olivier’s drill in Marathon Man! Screamed in horror, fear, and outrage, it did!! So…I went with it, and actually I love the way it turns the expected and familiar on its head, and it challenges our ideas that each season is representative of a different stage of a woman’s growth (for to me, the seasons have always been feminine)…it poses the notion that each season has a complete cycle within itself, and in its usurpation of the fading queen, it dooms itself to the same overthrow! That clash thus takes on a fascinating depth and the iterations of metaphor grow in multiplicity.
Secondly, the word haint is an old slang word for haunt found generally in southern and rural locations. Consider the variety of meanings layered in haunt, and understand that application of haint. It is also a funny contraction of “have not” and/or “has not” together with “ain’t”…haint. So ponder the reference to places as that contraction, and the elevator begins to move rapidly in its own directions thru the poem. Lastly, haint eventually took on the connotations of a scary-mean woman, or an evil bitch…and thus the poem circles around on itself (even as the seasons chase each other endlessly in a game of Tag) and references the women mentioned in the first stanza, and the whole understanding of who is the biddy and who is the bouncy flouncy Queen B gets tripped topsy turvy. It plays back in to that cycle of usurpation.
When people see me, they “see” me…and then if they spend any time with me with open heart, they SEE me…that is how my poems are.
I invite you to reconsider this poem with these clues…perhaps it will help with this one. I quite like it, but only time will tell us if it an unruly towhead that gains dignity, gravity and gusto as it grows…or if it is a juvenile delinquent that is hellbent to be the lovechild of Meatloaf and AC DC!!
and High Mountains.
Always High Mountains beckon me…
years of riding their stringent intractable slopes,
and punishingly friendly gradients….oh High Mountains!
Sweat and tears my offerings,
and fitness and expiation
the blessings They bestowed upon me.
How I long to share with you these feasts,
deep and austere
On this Golden Gravid Spring Day