Originally read: August 19, 2013
More information about the Poet: Jules Gibbs
The interesting thing with this poem, in the beginning, is that the entire first sentence of the poem centers around a concept, "To outsmart the world you've got to / outsmart the metaphor,". This sort of directness in statement is indirect in meaning.
"dismantle / the songs of childhood, say goodbye / to the only life you ever really had--" This sense of goodbye is unspecific, but has a somewhat nostalgic, and somewhat cliche resonance behind them? Why? The sayings are probably referring to growing up -- easy, right? But which is referring to growing up as something the world sees or something to be turned into a metaphor? Is it the saying or the act?
"the moment before the brute / dictation, before the grass drills / that could kill a men," Note the number of prepositional phrases here ti describe the moment, and the reference to the title indicates that the phrases either clarify or creates metaphors out of the moment, for example, "when the egg cracked, and you existed both yoked / and split." Sure the metaphor becomes the forefront, but how does the line outsmart the metaphor? Or rather outsmart the world?
The second sentence sort of indicates what needs to change, "Write this down:" here, the way to outsmart a metaphor is to write the actual, "I love you / now leave me alone;" in which the semi-colon connects the direct saying with direct image, "and in between / a bunch of us touched and were touched." Direct action. By who? Who knows.
"pried open, / and opened more," here the lines go back to the metaphor in the sense, but in doing so, "metaphor" has a addendum because the world is somewhat defined -- world as direct, metaphor as an opposite of direct -- to outsmart them both is to know how both goes.
"found / the world in the crude" I think the key here is "crude" in which the lens becomes apparent, and with "the Amen in the wound" which is not separated by comma, perhaps, there's a connection between seeing something as crude and also believing something as crude (in the metaphor for a wound).