Ronald J. Pelias

Naming The name that quietly settlescarries its heavy history, dropsinto a book of forgottenand remembered tall tales. The name that captures uscomes as quickly as time,its letters shake against the stale,quiver with each new verb. The name that becomes a spell,a holding place, a promise,speaks in whispers, takesus beyond tomorrow’s hope. The name that names makeseach day another day to name. Rather I would rather writehow the chickadees, tufted titmouse, and house sparrowsdart in when the blue jays leave,how the brown squirrel hangsto rob the feeder,how the dark woods speakonce deep down an abandoned dirt roadwhere the green moss covers the stones,how the highway cuts throughwith its constant hum,how the carcasses are reminders, how the cold dark winter gives wayto spring’s blooming tunes,how summer muscles inbefore fall’s sudden failure. But, instead, I try to circle the heart,the one we push into the open, hoping,the bruised one we drag behind,and the buried one we keep hidden. To Write a Love Poem haunts historywhich is the holdingof the writtenagainst the livingwhich is the sad attemptof desperate words said beforeexperience taught one enoughto know requires arrogancewhich is the namingthat thinks lovecan be corralledand the expectationof being loved necessitates witwhich is the liethat intelligencecan persuadelove into its pieces calls for the indirect,the metaphoric, the correlative,a title that does not announce its subjectwhich is the side-step awaythe cha-cha’s retreatthe tango hiding its dramawhich stomps outthe sentimentalfor the cynicalwho can’t clap its call takes gutswhich is wherelove resideswhenever anything seemsto go awry or just right. Ronald J. Pelias's work has appeared in a number of journals, including Midwest Poetry Review, Coal City Review, Poetry East, and Negative Capability. His most recent books, Leaning: A Poetics of Personal Relations (Left Coast Press/Routledge), Performance: An Alphabet of Performative Writing (Left Coast Press/Routledge), and If the Truth Be Told (Sense Publications) call upon the poetic as a research strategy.