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Not an Ode to Oppen

March 27, 2012

by Cecilia Pinto

let’s keep it simple
an ode is for the high
the ethereal
the elevation of something
but being interested in essential present aliveness
in the not high
in the unelevated

we cannot then assume the heavens
there is no firmament
no sky of blue Madonna
it is unattainable or rather, it doesn‘t exist.

here on the ground
the framework holds
because words are carefully selected
like objects in a rich man’s public space

and meant to mean because
we were depending on them to save us

but forget all that.
November is here and there are still roses
pink roses made of many, many petals
in the grim parking lot at Walgreens
pink riding above November’s slow gray skies.


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Cecilia Pinto’s work appeared previously in qarrtsiluni’s collaboration issue, Mutating the Signature, and has appeared in various other journals. She notes that “Not an Ode to Oppen” is “both an imitation and a rejection of the work of poet George Oppen.”

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