Poetic Words: Jack Spicer

To start off the week, here’s a poem by the Bay Area poet Jack Spicer, whose selected has the wonderful title: My Vocabulary Did this to Me.”

A brief bio of Spicer is available: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1656
Helped me get past thinking of him as a West Coast Frank O’Hara, although they do have some traits in common.

“Any fool can get into an ocean . . .”

By Jack Spicer

Any fool can get into an ocean
But it takes a Goddess
To get out of one.
What’s true of oceans is true, of course,
Of labyrinths and poems. When you start swimming
Through riptide of rhythms and the metaphor’s seaweed
You need to be a good swimmer or a born Goddess
To get back out of them
Look at the sea otters bobbing wildly
Out in the middle of the poem
They look so eager and peaceful playing out there where the
    water hardly moves
You might get out through all the waves and rocks
Into the middle of the poem to touch them
But when you’ve tried the blessed water long
Enough to want to start backward
That’s when the fun starts
Unless you’re a poet or an otter or something supernatural
You’ll drown, dear. You’ll drown
Any Greek can get you into a labyrinth
But it takes a hero to get out of one
What’s true of labyrinths is true of course
Of love and memory. When you start remembering.
Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 6.31.29 AM
High tide at Ocean Beach, San Francisco

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