From the Age of Miracles, by David Chorlton

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From the Age of Miracles, by David Chorlton (2009)

"Chorlton is one of Americaís finest poets and in this superb work he combines classical restraint with an impassioned meditation. He mourns the diminished present, the sublimation of the spiritual/animist in the material, and the loss of artistry, memory and meaning. The past speaks to the poet and he translates its myriad voices in sublime, graceful language. For purity and searing prophesy Chorlton is our William Blake."
Stephanie Dickinson                   
From the Age of Miracless Copyright 2009 by David Chorlton


Poet Bio:
David Chorlton
Sample Poems:
Shadow Boxing        Letter to Pasolini        Postcards from the Age of Miracles
Reviews:

Seven CirclePress, April 2010 - By Seth Jani

Rattle, May 2011 - By John Freeman


David Chorlton
 
David Chorlton David Chorlton came to Phoenix from Europe in 1978 with his wife Roberta, an Arizona native. He quickly became comfortable with the climate while adjusting to the New World took longer. Writing and reading poetry have helped immensely in that respect, as has exposure to the American small presses. Arizonaís landscape and wildlife became increasingly important to him both as a source of pleasure and a measure of how precarious the natural world is. Thirty years ago he regarded the idea of ďnature poetryĒ as one tainted with sentimentality but today it appears ever more necessary as an element of resistance to the conformity that Edward Abbey confronted so well in his writings on the Southwest. Chorltonís preference may be to write about the desertís mystery but he canít quite pull free of Pasoliniís statement of belief only in opposition.


Read more about David Chorlton at the Poets & Writers website.


Poetry

Shadow Boxing

While I wait for a bus that disappeared
I sit in the shelter and look around
at my fellow travelers
on Earth. One of them is boxing

with the air, but his face
means every blow. Take that! and then
he ambles to the bench,
removes his jacket
and juts his chin
in troubleís direction. Itís just
a concrete pillar but he grinds

his teeth and, eye to eye,
stares it into submission
before he spits
and sits down. And gets
back up again, this time

with his chest puffed in a gesture
that asks What did you say?
He doesnít like the answer
and swings a fist. Hard; it hits
an emptiness, and hits again

while his cheeks turn red and the sweat
runs down his shirt. Thereís nobody there.
I think at first heís crazy

but something he canít see
attacked him, and when he strikes
heís doing it for everyone who hurts
with nothing more visible
to hit back at
than fate.

Copyright ©2009 David Chorlton




Letter to Pasolini

Dear Pier Paolo, When I came upon your quote
taken from an interview for Le Monde,
back in seventy-one, the part in which you said
you no longer believed in revolution but were still
on the side of the young who fought for it
I felt a nudge of understanding. Yes, weíd like
to see the world turned upside down, have the whole
population shaken up and its wealth reallocated
but everyone who tried turned into somebody
we wouldnít want to know. You went on
to speak of writing poetry, of how you saw that
as being an illusion even though
you continued despite the fading of the art
from its classical heights when you were young.
I continue because Iím still
trying to catch up to the myth, because words
are my currency and Iím holding on to my share
revolution or not. Dialectic and contradiction,
you said had failed us. Thereís a tightrope
stretched between them and we walk across it
every time we talk about more than the weather and Hello.
Itís talk. Itís argument. Itís all weíve got
to file a claim for honesty. I think of you
in a new shirt, shoes gleaming, cruising
for affection with an unlikely allegiance
to the red flag. We should all be unpredictable
to keep the powers nervous and not let them put us
in their categories. Keep them guessing
how a communist could fit inside a sports car
and how a man so capable with words
could say his sole belief
lies in opposition.

Copyright ©2009 David Chorlton




Postcards from the Age of Miracles

I
Whenever you are reading this
remember us
as the ones who tried to live backwards
and teach creation
while scientists built a tunnel in which
to look back at the beginning of time.

II
Which millennium are we in?
Is this Milky Way the road
to a medieval shrine
or a constellation
in the sky?

III
Weíre looking for water on Mars
instead of in Arizona
where only a few miles of river
remain, but nobody launches a mission
to find them. Thereís no future
in the past.

IV
Religion just becomes more popular
the more we spend
on war. Itís comforting
to have faith in the ethereal
when weapons are so chilling
to the touch.

V
Talking about the virgin birth
or resurrection keeps
a sense of wonder in our lives
even though we canít explain
how they were possible. Neither
do we understand digital technology,
although we came to love it once
we were told itís only ones and zeros.

Copyright ©2009 David Chorlton