Columbus, January 8
I imagine you’d like us writing poems for you. To shake the trees with the breeze of words read aloud. In this you never left. When the flowers return, I’ll pick a Tiger Lily for you. It is my favorite flower, as the symbology means “For once may pride befriend you.” Sounds sweet, but what of pride and tigers is nice? When respect teeters on arrogance, dignity on conceit; which angel became devil and how could that battle reward the meek until the winner was determined? Reeks of a propogandistic maxim to me. Behold! The tiger has no spots! Look on, Cheetah Lily. Look on, seed. You be the rain if we must cry. You be the thunder if we must roar. We be the laughter in this undead tragedy, watching trash TV, calling idealists naive and the hopeful prideful; but spare the stars not in the sky.
Ken, I like talking to you because what I just said was probably more freeing than odd. I too want to speak all the words; for the angels to be more than sightings of intrinsic phosphene firing from the mind’s magnetic sight. We ride in the hands of a godlike child flying ghost planes through a more visibly sick world. Each night, grown offspring fold their robe of slights in sackcloth palls and sheets of dread. Their causes have waned and with them go covenants, modeled foundation, with styled scarves concealing torsoless heads floating above their animal vessel. How long, father, is this tournament and when do we rest?
Hey, when I read works of your generation, my gender sticks out a lot in prehistoric moments. Growing up, this was like being a child in the room while parents speak of you like you are not there or comprehending either meanings or intonations—it’s really patronizing and disassociating. I wonder if anything hits men over the head quite so much when they grow up reading—superiority of other men? But I can close one eye and read through timely reification, so long as the women and innocents were danced with instead of dissected as syphilitic zoophilic pieces of seductive naughty bits, slain for laurelled perspective dominance. People now don’t dismiss vessels as easily by the tango of their chromosomes, though hopefully we grow more increasingly modern. Remind me to ask you if you remember first learning of anim-, herm, and their loanwords?
Her rib is a feather. My feather of roots spin ahs and guttural pauses from an eternity of
questions we’ll ask again until answered: Why.
Sure is a doozy bartering for belonging in this collective consciousness. I guess we all have our side of the planet to gaze from at the flat line we understand to be round, while the unconventional dally with infinite walks up the glassy stairs of logic, and all the sounds hitting the ground like acorns with their hashtag caps and waggy nutbrains.
You were ahead of your timeline and I was lucky to find your seeds; seeds to which each(s)(p)age can relate: you noetic, throbbing in a larger state of grace With loose punctuations for new thoughts that seem they weren’t supposed to full stop. But I don’t know. Mine’s a perennial view. I’ll write a poem when the last one fades. Until then, Happy Deathiversary, my friend.
Long, the joybells ring!
With energy for better things;
The contentious turn content.
A few weeks ago I asked the poets of LAPB2021 to write a poem to commemorate the 50
death anniversary of Kenneth Patchan on Januari 8. LA Fogle wrote the letter above to Kenneth and to introduce this letter she wrote me:
I wrote a poem last month for Keneth Patchen’s birthday, hosted by LA Beach Poetry and Poetry Train, with the theme of “Get Ready To Die.” That piece might be better served for today, the anniversary of his death. So, instead, I will write him a freeform letter of sorts. ~ LAFogle