A line from another of Natalie Catasús’s poems haunts me, “how soon body/will sidestep body.” Lately, I seem to spend my days alternating between passionate intensity and artful sidestepping. In the latter mode, I avert my eyes, weary of contact with haters and allies alike.
In times of political and social crisis, the conversation about poetry takes a sour turn to the utilitarian. Do we really need it? What for?
In “Right-Here Man,” Catasús affirms one art’s capacity to stay and grow the moment. In the time of reading and reading this poem, we’re given all we need: the perfect smattering of scene and situation, the mystery man’s vivid voice, the speaker’s astonishing self portrait (“cockled rock/rough and gold leaf uncurling”), desire. The familiar maps won’t serve us in this world apart.
I look up from this poem, ready again to enter the wild unknowing.