Saturday, May 31, 2008


How do you write a poem?
How do you write a poem
When sunsets are merely oblivious particles in the sky
Emanating wavelengths according to the laws of physics
When the stroke of a finger
Is just nerve endings sounding off
In a tight, chemical cascade
Refined by the metal chisel of evolution
When God no longer is your mirror
But a flat picture on the wall, a manufactured statue on the altar
Unmoving, unsmiling, emanating a light
Whose warmth and brilliance you know will never reach you

How do you write a poem
When you already know exactly what you want to say
When words are no longer vehicles for metaphors
Because you’ve deliberately chosen the words that will carry
That exactness, with a clarity of elaboration
That makes you speak exactly like this
Because this poem is just a pretentious collage
Of all the essays and entries I’ve put in my blog
All I really had to do
Was take out the periods.

And now all those periods are nicely arranged in an unending ellipsis
Located at the beginning of this poem
Because it took me so long to figure out what I really wanted to say

If writing is an attempt
To create a mirror of the soul
Then maybe this poem is a hint
Of how I can no longer handle the ambiguity
That comes with creating a work of art
I have abandoned that sparkling iridescence
Just so I can see the world exactly the way it is
To mirror how I want to be seen
Exactly the way I am
There is a harmony that resonates within this world
That allows you to make words rhyme
With terms like pantomime
So your audience can clap, because you tied them together beautifully
And made them sound the so similar. Like twins!
There is a melody that softened the harsh angles of your late grandfather
A melody that stirs the soul of your reader
When you write lines in iambic pentameter

But all I hear, most of the time
Is a distant cacophony that scoffs at a rhythm, a design
A screeching note
That makes you long to head ram yourself
Into one of Jack Pollock’s canvases
To erupt into a splatter of in-your-face nonsense
Just so
You could make something
Of yourself

And just so
You could mean something
For that one stranger that passes you by
And gazes at you for the longest time

That stranger and I
We will echo at each other for all eternity

The lilt of that singer’s ballad from another country
Will never make sense to you
But you listen to it anyway
Because maybe you can catch that phantom
Who holds the sway to words of wisdom and clarity
Within lyrics you don’t understand

We deceive ourselves willfully.

How do you write a poem
When the world is no longer a mystery
Armed with a dry, cold arrogance
You can sum up the entirety of human existence
Within a period.
And Nietzsche would be proud of you

What used to be a suede pouch full of sacred dreams
Is now an arid sack of sand hanging on that hot air balloon of yours
And all you want to do is toss it away
And just rise
So you can continue on that journey
To a place so high, so distant its size can be summed up
Within a period.

But here’s the truth:
I have written more than fifty lines
For something I could say in four words:
“I’m really only scared”

That same suede pouch of sacred dreams
I can’t shake the damned thing off
Because that same sac covers me and turns my skin to suede
It’s my body that is sacred
And full of dreams, scattered across the contours
Nestled along the curve of my skin
A marred, imperfect exterior
Pierced by the shards of brilliance
From the diamonds in the suede pouch of this April baby
Twenty years of intense pressure forced onto this pouch
In the hopes of creating a life
So raw, precious, so graceful, so rough
So complete

I’m really only scared

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