Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)

i wrote this relatively quick, i saw the scarecrow pictured & a sort of surreal narrative took shape. i’d like to do more of these after poets-i-know-poems. i’ll be keeping my good eye open.

 
scarecrow

 

Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)

i see you with my own eyes—mid-crucifixion

edge of an onion field dressed in tartan & flowers,
the sleeve of its handkerchief hiding a face;
a greedy magpie readying its beak to pick
out that face, i lob a brick to scare it off
& found the face to be but an imagined thing,
a tool, appendage to comfort us— no scars or burns.

How come you’re so far from Okaji’s poems, why leave them?
The stammer of your silence still your own.
We’ll flip a coin & if i win the toss
you must promise to return to those poems;
i’ll hear none of the usual excuses, no best out of 3.

i flip the coin, it somersaults (ping of sun)
& clamp it on the reverse of my palm

it’s…

33 thoughts on “Scarecrow Travels (after Robert Okaji)

  1. I like scarecrows that are erected to protect nothing at all; they provoke questions. Something(s) else I like – the kind of O’Hara-esque “I do this… I do that…” of this poem, and that speculative conversation bracketed by it.

      1. Alice’s restaurant…had to look that up before I could get your joke- yes, great idea- see how long we could make it go for and how many scarecrows we can gather along the way…

  2. Love this tribute, Daniel!

    I’ve so often thought about trying my own versions of “after Okaji” poems, but haven’t ever felt up to filling that tall order! I can’t wait to find out whether Scarecrow, or his alter-ego newly asserting itself, has won the toss!

    1. Thanks Stephanie. i took the idea of Robert’s Shutters Poems & did my own Singing Bowl Poems too. That was a short while back. i can’t follow most of his work, as in respond to it, it is a style unique to him, but sometimes it is a choice of focus or in Scarecrow’s case an object or symbol, which i can do something with.
      I’m anticipating Scarecrow’s next move too.

    1. Paul’s my dad. I forgive you…but scarecrow probably doesn’t. He’s taken quite a shine to me of late & is very defensive of me. If you see him, best explain yourself & say you’re in my good books.

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