Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Richard Lopez and Herrick

The echo of Elizabethan poetry and song in the poetry of Robert Creeley has been noted by the likes of Tom Gunn, Tom Clark, and Wallen Tallman from the 1960s on. What is a wonder is that so few other poets are seen as carriers of that Renaissance love for the softly melodic lyric, the sparsely ornamental, the quiet inventiveness of the line, the muted overstatement, etc. But since the 1960s many poets have been such "pollen bearers," though the Lady of Renaissance praise and (at least since Robert Duncan who proves an interesting case) has been radically reconfigured. But no matter her piercings and tats, no matter her list of her losers lovers, her intrusive interjection of self, her brash self-satisfaction and psychological sufficiency, she remains one of world's most popular lubrications, a way of sliding through life with less friction. Even an an old man, Sir Thomas Wyatt, giving voice to his younger lover, wrote "dear heart, how like you this?"  (How not like everything less?)

from BLAST

right in the center of it
she skimmed the streets
on what looked like 
a logan earth ski circa ‘78
get outta my way
i heard her cry 
as she ground the trucks
against the scrim 
in an ode to concrete
so sweetly it would
make old orpheus blush

         --Richard Lopez
                            10:32 pm 3/22/10

* * *********************

Upon Julia’s Clothes

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave vibration each way free
O how that glittering taketh me!

                              --Robert Herrick



richard lopez works too much, reads till his eyes fall out and when he can find nothing else, ahem, he writes.  He’s published 2 ½ chapbooks [the most recent is a split chap with Jonathan Hayes, Hallucinating California], and doesn’t know when the next book will get done.  lopez is happily ensconced with his wife and son in a bungalow in Northern California.  He’s also a member of the publishing collective, Hank’s Original Loose Gravel Press, with poets Steve Tills, Jim McCrary and Henry Mancini.


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