Joie De Vivre

by C. M. Tollefson


Jostled by the wake of old joie de vivre; the mother
of your mother expressing herself in broken spanglish,
the remnants of outdated technology making a new case
for itself in the modern age: poorly— so to speak— an ex
lover pulled out of a hat by some fraudulent magician. These
kind of things do not do our expensive canvas justice, and yet
when smushed together into some kind of coherence they form
an oddly satisfying staircase. Forgive the dull ars poetica, the old
trick in the new book— the forms found in these contemporary maps
get us nowhere somehow faster. The Greeks would be fond of our new
figurative language, but like us did not speak Latin, only gibberish at markets
and I suppose that’s not much different from the lazy we pass now for our English.
How quickly things begin to descend, word brought to life by enjambment or
the idea of one almost, on the tip of ones tongue, a slant rhyme or way
to make the piece marketable to a spoon fed audience. They kill at
the mall for footwear the way us poets die at the cross of new
form. This piece will be misprinted and the meaning lost on
the way to the mouth, the vowels misshapen, the jagged
consonants rip up the tongue. This little piece of me
is not how I wanted you to climb inside and siege.
These echoes of birdsong and mirage are not
mine, you see, but only a thing I heard as
I was jostled awake by joie de vivre 

C. M. Tollefson is a poet, musician and student living in Portland, Or. He writes as a way of grasping the intangible and making sense out of overwhelming stimulus. He believes in kindness and genuine connection. He reads Nietzsche for fun but only pretends to understand him. His favorite poet is John Ashbury. He harbors a strong distaste for describing himself.


February 2018

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