Tag Archives: Andrew Suknaski

Return at High Summer

time poet/to put aside what you came to/leaving all else/behind
Andrew Suknaski, “Western Prayer,” Wood Mountain Poems

Andy,

You would have been 75 today. Seventy-five revolutions around the sun, it should be, but you stopped just short of 70.

It was no surprise to discover your solar return to be at high summer when the sun is at its full strength here in these southern hills, in this western land, when it seems fit to swallow the land whole. More than anything else it’s the sun that makes this place what it is, grows us into who we are, the sun that scorches away all that is unnecessary, the sun that both gives and takes.

I cast your chart, Andy. That’s something I do for people who matter to me, both theliving and dead.¬† A child of the sun but also a son of Neptune. Fire and water. An uneasy, smouldering combination, two elements at odds but which come together in their mutual obeisance at the altar of emotion. Inwardly watery, outwardly spitting sparks – am I right to deconstruct your character so? Did you ever feel like your inner self was drowning, Andy? Even as your words scorched pages with their searing honesty. Another thing common to water and fire – the ability to purge, cleanse, purify. Burn down to the bone and wash away all trace of any artifice. Getting at the truth, even if it burns you alive, or drowns you from the inside.

It was hot today, Andy. The sun was everything and everywhere until it finally dropped down into the horizon in a glory of magenta. Even it seemed glad to be gone, to relinquish itself to the brief¬† respite of a hot and windy summer night. We know now that the sun never really leaves, that it’s always shining somewhere. But the ancients did not know that; what they knew was that the sun departed before the night. It gave way to the wisdom of the moon and stars. It rested as we mortals rest.

And they knew, too, that the sun returns every year to the same places and shines in the same kind of way and imbues those born at that particular time with a certain set of traits, predilections, capacities, potentials. Of course you were born when you were, with the sun like it always is on July 30th in this particular intersection of latitude and longitude. Son of the sun, borne of the highest heat and driest dry, a true child of this place.

As the sun rests at night, so do I hope you rest now.

 

 

Trail

“Who ever listened to the dreamer or a poet”

– Andrew Suknaski, Wood Mountain Poems

A trail fades to nothing if it’s not followed.

It wasn’t Homer, Virgil, Ovid, Rumi, Eliot, or Rilke, though certainly I followed paths of their creation, too. It wasn’t Laurence, Grove, Butala, or MacLeod, though certainly I’d be no kind of writer without having read them first.

No, it’s been Suknaski all along. Little did I know.

I always wondered who was the poet who came before me and already said the things I want to say. Perhaps they’ve already been said. But perhaps it’s my turn to say them different, somehow. After all, I’m not a poet.

I remember that stranger saying to me: “you will write the words that have been forgotten.”

My prophecy.