Posted byRon Kozloff
Posted under01. Poetry Book
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We sit in opposition
Like cars gearing up for a
Game of chicken.
The wind blusters in your
Eyes, your piano voice comes
In crystals. I feel the years
Between us that have
Fallen off, revealing a hard
Skeleton of love in place.
How we try each
Other for fault! Your vanity,
my hands cut off at
The wrist. I have no
Stomach to pick through
These remains again or retrace
Plot points on the map
To here. I see it as a
Happy accident that
We have survived
Together at all,
Certainly not any of my
Doing. Was it the god
Of inertia who intervened,
limited horizons pressing
Were we not brave enough,
and if so,
Has it not taken us down
Was it something else entirely,
A flame of recognition
That held a mutual gaze
And burned everything else
And if it doesn’t come you wait some more,
It is something like fishing
Except you don’t do it in the sun.
It is not exactly pleasant
And it is not exactly unpleasant either
Why you do it
is difficult to answer.
It has something to do with compulsion
Your having to know that you can,
On that day
come up with something
That will definitely surprise you.
So you court the gods gravely and fervently
Because you know that it is not really
You at all who is going to do the work.
It is rather a chorus of Voices somewhere
Inside your nervous system
that will come to visit you,
Bringing with them words as gifts to you,
Which they offer in muffled tones or
In fits and starts, or in lengthier
Instalments that you take down
At your keyboard you hope in the right
You want to receive the message correctly
not mishear it,
And you have to learn to trust that what they tell you
Is in fact the truth because you have no way of verifying
Of course there will be at some point an overseer who
tinkers and censors
A sort of Father Figure editor
Who must get the package wrapped correctly.
But that is the easy part really because the gift is already
or in part.
Later, you and others will determine whether it was
A cheap gift or an expensive one.
You will provide your signature,
The Voices will be relegated to obscurity.
You know in your heart that you are probably
At best, an interceptor,
And the Voices will not be there to either
Confirm or deny it.
He looks like a sweet little immigrant,
a Pakistani boy wading through dirty water.
He smiles a lot on walls and soothes
with his ingratiating manner.
He is said to be charming to breathless women
he meets at natural food counters and less than charming to his underlings.
Known as a pop culture icon, a go-getter, or almost something.
while inside he is:
all emptiness and fury.
He must have hated his mother a lot.
Did she turn the wrong screw?
We can always trace things back to her.
Blaming the woman is the name of the game we love.
Women as punching bags is always a hoot.
She could not be one hundred percent available, perhaps.
She is, after all, the Remote One, the Castratrix.
And this is never agreeable.
Thus she must be remade, beaten into another shape.
Everyone knows that,
Everyone sees that,
Everyone always has.
Sketch the sky
Describe a winter sadness
Your body has fallen to laziness
The air is not your friend
Shut out thoughts that irk the mind
About whatever could have been
That fell thru the cracks of the past
Never to be seen again
Bring rancour up to your face
Look at it squarely in the eye
Watch it steam and have its way
Then spin off to another sky
You are really none of the above
Whether meat or scraps of history
You may be just a dream or a punch line In someone else’s memory.
Write about it.
Write about what?
Find an” it” and write about it.
This is it.
Then what can we say about it?
That it’s here
I can’t see. It’s too dark.
What can we say about the darkness?
And you don’t know where anything is.
And It’s on my shoulder now.
Yes It’s heavy, isn’t it
It’s gone now.
A little light, then?
Yes but it’s still hard to see.
Maybe you need glasses.
Which it is it now?
There is only one it.
Everything is possible in darkness.
It’s too dark to see.
In frozen light there is nowhere to go. You have stopped and everything around you is static and distant. In this glacial landscape, you have been severed from all rivers of possibility, from blood communion with the living, from breath itself, and there is the overriding sense that it has always been this way and probably always will be. It may be that you are already dead and that you possess only the critical awareness to monitor your state. You obviously cannot change anything about it. Your body still functions as always: you eat, sleep, defecate. You speak, listen, and move from place to place, or rather you watch yourself doing these actions as if you were watching an actor on a screen , that the agent is someone else, someone you hardly recognize. You feel nothing, except for the occasional stab of disgust, which is not even unpleasant because it fortifies you against any emotions. If there is desire, it is for oblivion. If there is a will, it is untouchable. There is nothing out there that beckons . And there is no inside. What becomes of a surviving corpse, you may wonder. This will one day be determined.