Saturday, November 3, 2012

Aimless Reading: The W's, Part 11 (Lew Welch)

Ring of Bone: Collected Poems 1950-1971
Welch, Lew
Ring of Bone: Collected Poems 1950-1971

Purchased at Rust Belt Books.

I think everyone knows three things about Lew Welch: he walked off with a gun and disappeared, he was Huey Lewis' uncle, and he may have written the famous tagline, Raid Kills Bugs Dead.

I would imagine many more know these three facts than have read his poetry. I have to include myself in that group.

I had heard all of these stories. I even had a copy of this on the shelf in my office at Just Buffalo, before it got sold along with the rest of the JB library. But I had never read a line of his poetry.

One day I saw a copy sitting on the shelf at Rust Belt Books and thought to myself, hmmm, I think I'll buy that. And so I did.

To be honest, I have only flipped through it. I haven't spent any real time reading it. I don't know if this is because of me or the poems or just a kind of general inertia.

But there it is.

from Ring of Bone

I saw myself
a ring of bone
in the clear stream
of all of it

and vowed,
always to be open to it
that all of it
might flow through

and then heard
"ring of bone" where 
ring is what a

bell does