hulking skyscrapers leer at each other in the glinting sunlight
filled to the brim with an exquisite unhappiness, resignation,
sometimes I need this concrete-block-built biodome
and sometimes I can't handle it at all.
I am a poet
but I am told it is against my nature.
There are many reasons given.
I am of two minds about it:
it is true that I do not see what other people see--
but, then again, I see what other people do not see.
like when my eye catches on the red light
clinging like a tick to a brick smokestack in the distance
framed by muddy damp gray groaning sky
and the voices, the silences, in the room that my body inhabits
tumble over each other, splintering against my rocky countenance;
ossified society (ancient structures draped in the elaborate masks
that people wear, by choice or otherwise, scaffolded by
a strange belief in some grand and inscrutable ideal)
finds me unbearable and insubordinate.
meanwhile i find myself trying to decide
what the red light is for and
what it means
e e cummings ripped a hole
in the space-time continuum
because i didn't like his poetry.
i didn't say anything to him about it.
it would have been impolite
to make a scene, and besides
the damage had already been done
between ragged glimpses of hours torn to shreds
and flapping in the air
i can hear something, but i cannot make it out.
i feel it in the fibers of my muscles.
this silence-emptied cache of dreams
holds secrets, inopportunities, for the listening ear:
so close to superstition and empty graces,
seated at our table when we're not there.
i cannot remember dropping off to sleep without
the cliff, the painful drop and shatter at the end.
it's time to root my teeth, to fortify my skull;
replace my eyes when i awaken.
to shout into darkness, make it hear me--
sit and wonder while i exhale my old inflections
Words are my Weapon, and my Wound,
and they are all i've ever had.
cast-iron pall on a stony bitter night.
the same vagaries resurfacing. as always.
feel your way around it: i cannot help you from here
my tongue, my teeth, are burning;
my throat is filled with flames.
if i were a dragon, this would be reasonable,
but i am not. make of it what you will.
inspiration curls around my ears,
spreads over my skin like blood
leaking from an outstretched, accidental proto-scar.
whether i heed its call, or not,
whether i breathe this fire, or not,
sometimes i see the Great Gears turning
(or, rather, imagine that i see them, as they are
metaphorical in nature)
and i know that i know nothing
yet i feel that i feel everything.
and the difference between knowing and feeling,
between feeling and knowing,
is the difference between the keening cry
and the texture of formality.