Poem for Paul Thomas Anderson (For Phantom Thread)

 

I’m afraid I might be the Woodcock type.

I too need to poison myself to feel better.

I too cannot tell the difference between

growing colder and growing more earnest.

Better to slave away at your own redemption

than ask someone else to waitress it for you.

But maybe there is someone out there who

knows me well enough to make me slave.

I think I could love a person like that

without ever realizing I was falling in love.


R. Charboneau

 

Who’s Afraid of I. A. Richards?

 

A critic is a great thing to behold.

Are they not the priests of all art?

Can they not summon great meaning

from the daimon hibernating in its art?

 

The artist needs the critic as much as

he needs the daimon. It’s the critic who

chases on the heels of the artist,

always keeping up with his pace.

 

A good critic will be close behind,

but a great critic will have struck out

ahead of the artist, calling back to him,

urging him to hurry up already.


R. Charboneau

 

Artwork: I. A. Richards on the Alps (1930)

To Some House Finches

 

You were all about on the bare ground

parsing litter from a naked and spidery tupelo

in the last cold light of day in the backyard.

 

I’d forgotten or was too lazy to spread some seed

that morning, so maybe you’d come back at the end

of a long day’s searching to make one last go of it.

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