REVIEW AMERICANA

 

Fall 2006

Volume 1, Issue 2

http://www.americanpopularculture.com/review_americana/fall_2006/hoffman.htm




RICHARD HOFFMAN

 

Ars

Yes, but
the hammer
was made for the nail,

the plane to shave,
the chisel to hew,

and the drill although
in any gauge
exquisite
is not curled to please

so speak to me
of our common work
and like the wood,
like the stone,
I will listen.

 



At Wolfe’s Neck Farm

for Baron

Some days a poet
is like a cow, a yellow
tag: N365 affixed
to a twitching ear,
shit on its haunches,
flies on its eyes,
who thinks, “If only
I’d been born
in India I’d be a god.”



Aspects of the Work

The source of a work and its subject are not the same.
The source of a work and its creator are not the same.
The creator of a work and its subject are not the same.

The power of a work and its impact are not the same.
The power of a work and its intention are not the same.
The intention of a work and its impact are not the same.

The source of a work and its intention are not the same.
The subject of a work and its power are not the same.
The power of a work is not the intention of the work’s creator.

When the work’s source lies in the intention of its creator,
its impact is restricted to the power of its subject.

When the work’s subject is determined by its source,
the power of its impact equals its creator’s intention.

 


The Reader’s House

Young, I wrote
like a burglar, one
slippered word
at a time, softly, so
you would never
wake and I would
have your heart
before you knew;

now all is burning,
each step forward
into flame and smoke
a search for a sleeper
who may or may not
still be in there.

 

 

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