Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Contemplating "Montana": A Poem about Sex, Love?

Spirit of Ecstacy
Leonardo Leinow
Poem: "Montana" by Gary Johnson.


A great many small failures have brought me to this
Dark room where, against the teachings of the church,
I lie in the forgiving dark with you and we kiss
And loosen our clothing and feel the hot urge
Toward nakedness, man's natural destination,
The slow unbuttoning, unclasping, until at last
We lie revealed. The fine sensation
Of you on my skin. A slender woman as vast
As Montana and I am now heading west
On a winding road through the dark contours
Of mountains and into a valley, coming to rest
In a meadow that I recognize as yours.
This is what I drove across North Dakota to find:
This sweet nest. And put all my failed life behind.

Contemplative Questions as Response:
What have "small failures" taught me?
How is failure like a dimly lit space where I am naked?

How is making love an act of forgiveness? For me and you?

What does the church teach?
What state am I in love?
What state is the person I love? Would I call him Montana? Or New Mexico? Or Nova Scotia?

What spaces do we travel across to arrive here: untangled and disrobed?

How do we say "Thank You" over and over again for North Dakota?

Is the journey in and of itself enough of the gift?

What does arrival look like in your eyes?

I don't have permission to post this. I just have deep desire to share these words by Gary Johnson. They appeared in today's Writer's Almanac.

(What are the rules of bloggers in such circumstances? Who reads this blog? Will Gary Johnson find his work reprinted here? Will he recognize my respect and deep appreciation of this poem? Of the words? In reprinting it here - without permission - am I somehow not appreciating him?)


Anonymous said...

I barely made it to work on time today as I listened to this poem. Wow, it really touched me!

Jen Rouse said...

I once posted a poem on my blog that I heard on the Writer's Almanac, and the poet DID find it and e-mail me about it. He gave me permission to leave it up, but I was really embarrassed.