Friday, July 29, 2011

Dave Brinks and Byron

"'O love, / where are you / leading / me now?'" Creeley asks at the conclusion of "Kore" (written in late Oct. 1959 after a session with Jane Harrison's delightful Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion*) interrogating the Fire, perhaps, "which no flood puts out," which no river ever quenches but in moment's eternity, the absolute virginity in the defiled particulars of experience, etc. Dave Brinks, below, is also guided, but now by the echo of what was, the wraith weavings of her reputed (but also as if remembered) wonders, the shadow of her eloquence (as though it glowed upon memory's wall before him). We haunt a post-Romantic world, as they say, yet are haunted in turn (at the very least) by "every raven tress" of its most enduring personage.

(Jane Harrison writes "At Leuctra in Laconia there was an actual temple (ναός) of Cassandra with an image; the people of the place called her Alexandra, 'Helper of Men'" [Prolegomena 323]. Indeed.)

* Oct. 30, 1959  letter to Duncan, Special Collections, 420 Capen Hall, SUNY-Buffalo.

She Walks In Beauty
                   --Dave Brinks

she walks in beauty
barefoot Kubla Khan
La Belle Dame sans Merci
pushing a Red Wheelbarrow upstairs
“Om” is the key word
two shoulders bent for a kiss
where Fire Is Born
which no flood puts out
Long Night Moon crooning
over wet magnolias
a faint stirring remains
or disappears how long ago
O Lakonian River so greatly loved


She Walks in Beauty
                     --George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron

She walks in beauty, like the night
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
   Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
   How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
   A heart whose love is innocent!



Poet Dave Brinks was born in 1967. He was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana where he currently resides with his wife, poet Megan Burns, and their three children. Brinks’ blood is Choctaw Indian and Acadian.

Brinks is editor-in-chief of YAWP: A Journal of Poetry & Art, publisher of Trembling Pillow Press, director of 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series, and founder of The New Orleans School for the Imagination.

His poetry has appeared in various magazines, newspapers, journals, andanthologies throughout the U. S., Canada, and overseas including:

ArtVoices, Exquisite Corpse, Gathering of the Tribes, Jejune, Lungfull, New Orleans Review, Scrisul Românesc, Shambhala Sun, The Nation, and VLAK.

Additionally, Brinks’ poetry has been featured by National Public Radio, PBS’ News Hour with Jim Lehrer, National Geographic Traveler, and Louisiana Cultural Vistas.


ARTVOICES, Interview with Peter Anderson – Brinks on New Orleans and Poetry;

17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series in New Orleans;

Stone Soup Poetry presents Dave Brinks, reading in Boston, featuring selections from The Caveat Onus;

A Look at Dave Brinks’ The Caveat Onus by Adam Peltz; 

Exquisite Corpse (ed. Andrei Codrescu), selections from Dave Brinks’ The Geometry of Sound;

The Joe Milford Poetry Show, Interview with Dave Brinks, June 7, 2011;

Nomadics (ed. Pierre Joris), Brinks reading in Brooklyn @ Zebulon, hosted by Roger Van Vorhees;

Poems and Poetics (ed. Jerome Rothenberg), featuring Dave Brinks; 

Black Widow Press;

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