easter (from lindsaylennox.com)
This exhaustion is persistent,
atmospheric, not to be dispersed
by anything as straightforward as
more sleep, more caffeine.
It has the appearance of being
a spiritual condition rather than
a merely physical one. Tomorrow
is Easter – the re-emergence from
death, the waking from hibernation –
but it is scheduled to snow.
Ms. Lennox added me on Twitter and I was like “woah I have a follower.” I promptly went to her website and was like “woah these poems are good.” Her style makes a potent case that developing your own voice makes for solid poetry. I feel that these poems are part of a conversation; they are being spoken to me and I’m hanging on every word as I read. The drama of her work has that kind of immediacy. Her poem “monday” speaks for itself.
The above poem, “easter,” I take to be about our contemporary insecurities. Lacking love and success, we’re exhausted. It’s “persistent, atmospheric:” we’re not where we want to be and we see that every second. What I like is how the speaker says this only has the appearance of a spiritual condition. She hints that there could be something trivial and ridiculous about this, that maybe our materialism and other things on that level are an appropriate response to it. Sleep and caffeine won’t disperse it, but what about a new job? Or lover?
The poem stays unsure about any of this speculation, but it talks about Easter as a scheduled hope, itself afflicted by the weather. A most spiritual day is like every other day, complete with irony. The not-so-trivial thought: you can’t schedule hope. Our controlling our own lives does exhaust us. Any potential alternative is left unsaid, maybe because traps of our own making, no matter how small or large, do require some outside intervention to overcome.