the echo is a dance of abandonment #3, Darren Demaree

Michael Diehl, Splash 3


the echo is a dance of abandonment #3


a breath
tell me

much you

that full-
did you

to let it

how much
of you frayed
in keeping

your lips
as a gauge
of life’s art

Darren Demaree


Review by Massimo Fantuzzi

Life’s art: to be found and gauged in your lips, and nowhere else. We can finally admit it and act on our admission: it’s about time art returns to its muses. That’s the echo, the dance, that’s the abandonment.


Review by Dave Mehler

Tacking onto Massimo’s comments a little bit, I think what’s really interesting to me here is the idea that our encounter with ‘art’ or ‘life’s art’ somehow has the potential to fray us. In this poem the question isn’t whether it does or doesn’t, but how much? Somehow this involves the lips and speaking, or poetry or criticism, unless it’s something like kissing that doesn’t involve actual speech or language? I’m guessing this is about art that involves language or the response to art or life–art which mimics or represents art, or an art of living. Maybe art, or the poem, as an echo of life? So much here in a small poem. When I think of dance’s of abandonment, I can’t help but remember in 2nd Samuel 6 and David dancing in the street with all his might in worship. I don’t believe it applies specifically to this poem but this scriptural story does point to an intersection of life and art (and worship) where the stakes seem to be as high as the intimation of this poem, and a cost is exacted: Michal’s contempt. David’s wife attempts to shame him and point out the embarrassment for his abandonment to a man who was a ruler and king who failed to restrain his PDA for the divine. How intimate, vulnerable and transparent are we allowed to be with one another? Does this fray us? I get the sense the poet is speaking to himself here and letting us listen in? Very interesting meditation.


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