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Poetry Friday: "Aubade Photoshop" by Jeff Latosik

Safely Home Pacific Western, Jeff LatosikWikipedia (the basis for all known facts in the universe) defines an aubade as: "a morning love song (as opposed to a serenade, which is in the evening), or a song or poem about lovers separating at dawn." It's a beautiful word, and deserves a poem as fine as today's entry of Poetry Friday, Jeff Latosik's "Aubade Photoshop" (from his collection Safely Home Pacific Western). 

In an interview with IFOA, Latoski imparted some advice on the craft of writing poetry:

Be hard on your lines. I do notice that, often, even the most free-form and associative kind of writing that comes up in a workshop, a writer still wants to do something. It doesn’t have to be "I want to write this poem" or "I think the reader is so-and-so", but they may want the line to have a certain kind of effect, may be thinking of a certain writer when they do, or they may not want a certain kind of confusion to be present.

And actually most writers I wouldn’t even put here; I would say that there’s still an overwhelming desire to put the reader somewhere, have a certain clarity wring through in the poem, structure the poem in a way that brings out its strengths, etc. And these are things that can still, even now, and maybe especially now, be done.

But you have to look at your own poem with the same skepticism you save for others. You have to be open to completely reworking it from the ground up until it works.


Aubade Photoshop

That you might rope a past vacation’s sky
whose blue was not that well expressed,
hog-tie its gaffes and vacancies, drag it
to a place between that time and this.

Not quite plucked from the invisible spectrum
like galaxies bright as cellophane in Quality Street
or happened into suddenly like a lapsed god’s eye
staring back from light-year stacks of helium.

Red LabelI could let a scrim of Red Label tint an afternoon
where things would give up shape and focus
and disclose, from a secret blush, all those vapoury proximities
so that shoals of my living and dead float up,

and all I said or didn’t say in tune with hindsight’s
unflappable A440 will be resaid, the way
it’s easier to be right once the moment’s fled
or how you expanded the range of your voice by aping Bocelli.

It was all just settling, lime stain on stone, or an ism
of which you’ve grown especially fond. Things I couldn’t detach
but didn’t know it yet. I had to write this as a kind of letter.
We put a screen in front of things to see them better.

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