Poem of the Week: “We Are Jealous of Music” by Blueberry Morningsnow

I have a slight obsession with cool names. I often wish I had a cooler name, though I’ve had a few people tell me my name is pretty strong–maybe it’s the combination of two syllables, two syllables. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I’m not changing it when I get married (in 11 days–eep!). So when I came across the poet Blueberry Morningsnow while doing some small press and literary journal research of course I was intrigued. And then I read some of her work. And I was more intrigued. So this week’s poem is “We Are Jealous of Music,” which appeared in Issue Four of Notnostrums (which has a pretty cool name itself).

My favorite part of this poem is the line: Violence tells us what we already know. When reading it, I had one of those moments that Dr. Richard Wertime always describes–“Damn it, why didn’t I come up with that?” It’s so powerful and true. And it really captures the senselessness of violence…when one commits an act of violence it is redundant. We are acting out on our emotions, something we already feel and know.

I also love the nature imagery sprinkled throughout the poem, and the disembodiment it creates. Here you are thinking of violence, but also of sparrows and whales and how a relationship between these two very different animals resonates pretty comparably to human relationships. How often have you found yourself, a sparrow, with a whale? Or vice versa? And then Morningsnow has us think about violence again, the skinned pet dogs. Following this is the line “We have animals everywhere,” which, again, relates back to human society. There are all different types of people in this world that we must deal with, including those who commit deplorable violent acts, those who love us and those who disappear on us.

Fact is, you could read this poem 100 times and each time you will unearth a new treasure (“Music hurts when it’s outside of us,” “Where there’s friendship there’s agony”). So go read it and see what you find…

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