Featured Poet: Jeffrey Side

Eyewear is very glad to welcome Jeffrey Side (pictured) this Friday. Side, as polemicist and instigator, is a controversial figure in some circles, for his online championing of views and positions that, to say the least, question "establishment" and mainstream critical perspectives (for instance whether Heaney is a significant poet). He is sympathetic to the British innovative and New York poetry schools (Ashbery is a big influence), and his own work explores the lyric, and language, with a passionate interest in the traditional canon as well (such as Blake).

Side has had poetry published in various magazines and sites including Poetry Salzburg Review, Underground Window, A Little Poetry, Poethia, Nthposition, Eratio, Shadowtrain, Blazevox, Jacket, P.F.S. Post, Great Works, Hutt, and Dusie. His poetry publications include Carrier of the Seed (Blazevox Books) and Slimvol (cPress). From 1996 to 2000 he was the assistant editor of The Argotist magazine. He now edits The Argotist Online web site.

Trees of Sorrow

The trees of sorrow
that hang over these graves,
mark the spot where you are hidden.

You flew away too soon.

And all the while I could not
see the larger picture.

Your hair used to breathe
like the autumn smoke.
And you let me keep the cherished
dreams that fed me.

All for the sake
of trying to satisfy the eternal yearning.

All for the sake
of feeling some warmth in the night.

All for the sake
of flying too close to the candle.

All for the sake
of swimming in the contagious sea.

Such futile joys
we strove for,
and which brought us both to grief—

me, in my glass-walled palace,
you on your barrier reef.

When the sensuous hand
of destruction tempts and beguiles you,
who is safe to touch?

Who is safe from the cuts that
are too small to see?

Someone always comes forward to
be the victim when
the temptation is too much.

And is it just me, or is there someone,
somewhere, always missing you?


Harmony from Damages

I have heard a good deal most
difficult I would not presume to
dispute the thinking eye or why we
do not recall past lives.

Now the chief god of the Olympians
the moon and witness to genesis in
1980 a group met putting aside a
need to revive the dead.

O my God forgive these angels
seeking some sport in the sun.
Do not remember my madness
and the pain you know I must bleed.

My daughter went within a man
once the viceroy of Egypt. A man of
empty hands I warned about talking to
himself beneath his visions.

How be it that poor servant girl
is now cast from our congregation?
Has her scream exposed the elaborate
near-handler or other communal soldier?

poems by Jeffrey Side

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