Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Finding Words

                         FLYING BLIND 

hard not to know what to say      or what not
everything's a riddle    camouflaged yet clear

this second for instance   an empty coffee cup
that itchy rash flaring again on my right foot

cram life into one box or another   never mind
it all runs together        the inside spills out
the outside spills in   a prayer becomes a pickle

or the forceps of meaning--knee-knocking truth
then boulders shudder and fixed stars move

let's not kid ourselves      we're all flying blind 
it's the only way of getting where we need to go

reality isn't a dingy snapshot of two strangers
though they were charming     no denying this

still    better to grope onward    a spooked child
stuttering awake inside their demolished house

a thousand beginning spurt from that wound...


     The poet starts out in the middle of the mess--feelings, sensations, imaginings, confusions--groping with words to somehow bring forth a gleam of meaning, using language to "make it new" in a way which others can relate to. Truly, he or she is flying blind, exploring the unknown, fumbling with both inner and outer uncertainties; yet "it's the only way of getting where we need to go." 

                        KEEPING THE VOW

there's much muddle and considerable darkness
just as dawn begins spreading its luminous stain
and that distant train whistle sounds mournfully
while bare trees braille branches against the sky

vowing once to be a singer I chanted my songs
crying ecstasy and anguish    glory and madness
and I won't stop pouring them forth even now
though the cracks keep swallowing what I love

but how can I undertake with my flimsy voice
to stanch the world's tsunami of pain   suffering
cruelty   death?   flinging words into the abyss
I see them scatter like confetti    then disappear

nothing's changed    yet a subversive little hope
shudders through these derelict bones   I think
if I could finally surrender my heart to oblivion
it would bloom as this day does -- spilling light


      Could I have conceived, when I first made that vow to chant my songs all out, holding nothing back, putting it all on the line, just how implacably the cracks would keep swallowing all I love? Did I have the faintest clue how deep and dark the abyss is, into which I would fling my confetti of words? Hardly. But it doesn't matter. This is what I was born for. And in some way I can't "explain" in any other words, if I can "finally surrender my heart to oblivion" it will be reborn and renewed. At the crux of reality--paradox!


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