3 Poems About Now
Let's settle into the here and now with 3 poems about right now. The first poem is by Samuel Menashe. It's compressed, it's clever, and one of those poems to which one's immediate response is: ah! The Poetry Foundation calls him a neglected master, and indeed, he's not someone I'd come across before. The second poem by Catherine Pierce is for “right now.” She says, “in protest I marvel,” and I think this is something that we must not allow anyone to take from us, our ability to marvel in the now. The last poem is by Lyn Hejinian and it begins with someone being "right. Now...” The poem is about moments where one thing becomes something else, about how poetry needs to fly rather than be about flight. It is about taking note, in the now. The poem is also peripherally about the way attention to language brings us into the now.
The question I have for myself lately is: how to be more in the now? I intend to marvel at words like iridescent, at near-rhymes like writing and writhing, and I am going to keep bringing myself back to the now.
by Samuel Menashe
Now and again
I am here now
And now is when
I’m here again
Poem for Right Now
by Catherine Pierce
In protest I say the word iridescent.
In protest I say the word vesper.
In protest I say that I am in love
with this day, this exact day, this rain
on the thousands of dead leaves
in my backyard and the mourning dove
and the faint growl of the garbage truck
a few blocks over. I am in love with it.
In fucking love.
from The Fatalist: Time is filled with beginners. You are right. Now
by Lyn Hejinian
Time is filled with beginners. You are right. Now
each of them is working on something
and it matters. The large increments of life must not go by
Life is a series of given situations
of which the living have to take note on site
and the storytellers give an account as the wind
tangles the rain or the invaders take over the transmitter. The exchange
of ideas constitutes a challenge to the lyric ego.