I reviewed my “about” page and learned through comments that others don’t start with reading it. Nonetheless, I thought it was a good time to reexamine my initial decision to separate my poems from my daily blog. I decided to begin to include some of those poems in my daily posts.
In formalist theory, poems stand by themselves and need no introduction, biographical, historical or contextual. However, whenever I have attended a poetry reading, I have been immensely helped by the casual introductory comments the poets make before they read. They will often relate the occasion which prompted the poem and add explanations that the reader might overlook. I thought I would adopt that stance when I include my poems.
When we moved to East Hartford, Connecticut from Portland, Oregon, I was very aware of my new surroundings and the ways they differed from my previous home. At that time, the garbage men(always men) hung off the trucks and threw the garbage, overhand, into the trucks. When my town switched to trucks that picked up the garbage without needing the men, I wrote this poem–an elegy to the garbage men.
I miss them
Those muscled men who
Hoisted the cans up and over the truck edge.
Their arms first grew slack
Merely tipping into the compressor bed.
Then, finally, their biceps smoothed altogether
Replaced by mechanical limbs
Reaching disgracefully over and up.