The best competition is love.
These two poets—Rubenstein and Desrosiers—in this Scarriet Poetry March Madness battle, could never, in their wildest imaginations, imagine this contest: their lines meeting in any manner, much less like this.
We are only imagining it now ourselves, without a clue as to the outcome. We imagined a Madness, and that’s all we really needed to do.
In the lines themselves, we see the extent of these poets’ far reaching imaginations.
Says Raphael Rubinstein:
Every poet thinks about every line being read by someone else.
But is this imagination? Isn’t this just plain fact? The fact that we write for others?
To answer this question, we’ll say this:
It is never a matter of something being factual—or not. It is never that simple. The fact that we write for others can be overturned in an instant—because pure solipsism is possible in writing, and perhaps even preferred, if not the actual fact, since we can be our own audience—we couldn’t write coherently, otherwise. So here we see Rubinstein’s wounded fact—“every poet thinks…” is merely something he is imagining. He imagines he has an audience, when he really doesn’t. And yet, for his line to be read and understood, he does—have an audience.
So Rubinstein, in his line, is imagining—and yet not. Factual—and yet not.
His wit is on display, and we are not sure whether he should be applauded for it, or whipped.
I think we can praise him. The greatly imaginative are always partly factual and partly not.
It is not so much that imagination loves facts—as facts love imagination. The world loves its God.
Now comes Desrosiers to add a beautiful idea to what has been said:
I wish you were just you in my dreams.
How deliciously and wonderfully ironic.
We wish and dream for what is neither wished nor dreamed.
We want the facts—in our dreams.
And we don’t want them anywhere else.
We want to wish for our facts, but not have them.
We want to dream our audience even as we know the last thing they are is a dream.
The poem becomes a fact when it hovers in the mind as a desire for a fact.
This March Madness contest may just be the strangest one so far.
And whose fault is that?