Rarely do I speak or write on poetry; to me it's like trying to talk about or critique Monk piano intervals; not impossible or improbable, just airy and earth trying to find the right engagement ring; so... I am something like (for lack of a better word) proud... to contradict myself here.
In one sense it's like playing a solo in Jazz feeling good/strong because of the changes and harmonies; like being giving music to play and feeling experienced enough to hear/play the spaces between the notes. No, I wouldn't say Morgan Harlow is a music poet but I know music is part of her gift. I believe the poet's eyes are ears and the poet's ears eyes. See... I feel I am the question mark at the conclusion of "The New" almost self-loathing in its gallery... where I
"think Byzantium. Sphinx and writing with inks"
or maybe beautifully worse:
"...as Hamlet needed/his father"
(over and over at once in my head) from her naked fountain of "Joan Miro, Ciphers and Constellations in Love with a Woman, 1941".
There's too much in nothing to say and thinking becomes inner dialogue cutting off a nameless speaker unexpectedly met in "Gorilla Dreams" who is that surprise between subtle and sharp clear as
"Outside over an angular concrete façade,
the night sky"
Again, the music poet finds the sound- so much in so little space/precision equaling rhythm. But maybe I am more like her poem "Nursery Rhymes" as in believing instinctive choices when they are the same as vision in
"they possess the aura of the first trees
Anyone took notice of"
from "The Undeniable Mystique of Silver Birch Trees" ...or maybe I am survival-of-the fittest tears not wanting to fall in
"The slap on the hand that feeds us, an the hand itself, become as
from "Journal Notes- Irremeable Progressions" ...Inventive as she is sounding, canvassed of seasons and animals, where the `best' illustrators of mystery roam
"Camille Claudel- her front door and the world beyond it"
from "Journal Notes- Nature, Art, and Women" distill/fill something in me; make me indulge past indulging. Makes me move where always want to but forgot or never knew in life like the title piece itself. And who knows better where/how to laugh between such clefs- trails/travails where "Lancelot Meets Goya Meets Cortazar Meets Mowat" or "Parked" or hysterically
"And Goddard, selling used cars in Indianapolis, unable to get
off the ground"
from "A New Kind of Displacement". Morgan Harlow is honest where a poet must be in undiscovered but recognized darkness in cliché-free thoughtfulness I (although I find in fiction) I rarely feel and/or am drawn into in poetry today. "Eclogue" does these things to me more than any place except for "Poem Beseeching an End to Social Darwinism, a Meditation on Painting, 1933, by Joan Miro" in her Ritual Burning. Nothing digs/divides up acorns like (the pitches) in my squirrel-like budget like "On Halloween" does. In the mystique of the Burning there is light- and its Morgan's own illumination. I can easily say I love the (en)rapture of irony in Burning; the Ritual being a richly diverse one as in "Your New Love"- as we would say in music- `it's sweetly straight ahead".... with gloomless gloom strokes in "A Bend in the Light"
"the window. And here he was, the hold the dead have on
"the living, the whole of literary endeavor".
Each poem a kindling in a fire. A slow (before sound) fire...A crackling and sparkling Ritual... and deftly yet Bartok-like honesty as in twisting veins from ("Fellini's Guido riding...") bark-flesh and animals that anything but by-two depart (more than enter) Morgan Harlow's arc- where truest currents uproot, soon seafaring (or perhaps "swing").
Paul r. Harding
New York City, February, 2013
Teacher/poet "Hot Mustard & Lay Me Down" (En Theos Press, 2003)