Fast Poem 35: It Doesn’t Make Sense

“It just doesn’t make sense!”

Ah, but it does make sense.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.

We may not have access to the sense it makes.

We may refuse verity of the sense it makes.

We may sense the sense it makes

but choose

no pursuit 

of the sense we sense,

embracing for the moment no sense 

which, makes no sense

when later we sense

we need to squeeze out some sense                      

to sense some peace of mind,

to get some sense of closure,

to move on.

Sometimes lack of data makes impossible making sense.

Sometimes we lack capacity 

to ingest and condense complexity,

to sculpt cosmic chaos into information

etched with sense of sense.

Sometimes sense fills us: hate,

anger,

tragedy,

threat,

mortality,

letting no excess length width or depth to fit sense.

Sometimes sanity requires denying sense;

“It does not make sense.”

“God works in mysterious ways.”

“It is Satan’s work.”

so we can breath again.

There is no difference between denys

except in words.

Each finite,

valid until

sense illuminates the manuscript

or The End unmatters the matter.

Before,

after, 

neither trigger-event nor sense of event dissipates, bends, or mutates.

Beneath it all it makes the sense it makes.

It always makes sense.

It makes more sense than one,

but sometimes it feels better to cry,

to just to cry,

and that’s okay.

It makes sense

sometimes to cry 

just cry.

It makes sense.

It makes more sense than one.


Via an alter-ego I participate in online course offered by Coursea.org. The course, ModPo (Modern Poetry) is taught/led/guided/coached/illuminated by Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania. This was my first encounter with his work. 

I experienced a spiritual weirdness watching the video introducing the course. Ten seconds in I felt that if I should see Al Filreis on the street I would approach, thank him, grab him by the shoulders and rub my beard against his beard, give him a high-five, thank him again, grab his hands and force him to dance an ad-hoc polka and finally grab his right-hand with both of mine and shake his arm off. His enthusiasm for poetry made me feel like I’d found my way home after years of wandering the wilderness, keeping the sun always at my back.

Yet, I disagree with at least 1/2 of what is said and taught in the class – disagree is probably too strong a word – let me say I have ideas below, beyond, sideways, or even above what is said and taught in the class – a condition I find inspiring, illuminating and wonderful.

The poem “It Doesn’t Make Sense” was written in response to a ModPo forum thread. During discussion of Gertrude Stein’s Let Us Describe someone said “Sometimes things don’t make sense.” This led to a quick discussion of “Life not always making sense.” linked to the language experiments of Stein and other Modernist poets. On the forums, for better or worse, my alter ego questioned what sense life does not make. In response, another ModPo participant offered a link to Joan Didion’s essay “White Album.” , generously suggesting it might help my alter-ego grok how life sometimes does not make sense. Several pages of the essay can be read here. I think pages 11 to 14 are those intended. To me, the essay validated the question “What sense does life not make?”, which means my alter-ego did a crappy job explaining himself. I wrote the poem so he maybe, might, sorta find a way to better articulate his resistance to the idea that life sometimes does not make sense.


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