Wednesday, February 2, 2011

254. The Gift of a Poem

This is not a poem, nor is it a letter, because a letter is part of an alphabet, each one is 1/26 of ours, that number being, of course, unsatisfying, especially in comparison to its neigh

(Do you hear a horse?)

bor to the left, fat and furious 25, a cube of a beast, the identical makers of its cube each being the same prime number. Primed and cubed. Do numbers ever get better than this? A number, certainly, might have something to do with a poem, even if it doesn’t make a poem out of it, poemness being a delicate thing and made bitter by the slightest of false moves.

and embodied in
the fact of being
and scented in
the ways of living
and freed from
the character of value

“I have come to you,” he said, more forcefully than reassuringly, “with a tendency to expand particulars into an entire cosmos for contemplation.” She had no answer to this but she never had, believing the world was not so much a surprise as a disappointment. She could never perceive, for instance (and he mentioned this to her frequently), the difference between sunlight and sunshine.

He hungered for sunshine.

She hungered for warmth.

There was something about winter than disturbed them both.

Something about the way their yard had becomes so white it seemed to disappear.

The way the ground they walked upon resembled a sheet drying on a clothesline.

She wished she could describe it to someone so they would understand.

But there was no way to make people see her yard as she did.

what is vague
and nondescript
but felt in
the gut the craw
what comes out
of us like vapor
that is what
we most desire

poem [pronunciation unknown] n, adj, adv, art, vi, vt 1. a kind of thing made out of words, or out of fragments of words written down, or out of shapes meant to remind you of words or letters or slivers of fragments of letters 2. a way of mean by leaving things broken into lines as if they were first thought that way 3. an essay when told as a story but stored within a playscript and requiring rhyme or punning or other forms of hearing the word that is so often silent to you, as if you had never heard of a word

Scene: Two people, possibly a man and a woman, possibly two women, but definitely not two men (their shapes just don’t allow for that) sit in a dark room with their backs to each other. One of the people shuffles around on her chair, causes it feet to move across the floor and make a scratching sound. The other grabs, while still sitting on a chair, holds it with both hands, rises slightly off the floor, then slams the chair into the floor, causing a large bang. The first one speaks.

Good morning. It seems as if it will be a good day.

I hope so, after the poem I’ve had.

What’s wrong with your poem this time?

They’re always bad. You know that.

You’re just hard on yourself.

No, I’m not.

Well, you’re hard on your poems then.

That’s possible. I had a poem of a time getting home today.

Why? What was the problem?

I was driving down Poem Parkway, and a poem cut me off.
I laid on the horn but they wouldn’t start.
Went right through a red poem.

That must’ve been frightening.

Poem was.

Are you okay?

Of poem, I’m poem.

Do you recall when you were quoting a poem by a man and you said, “I think that I shall never see a poem”? Did you mean that poems were too allusive, so you could never find one? Did you mean that there’s no such thing as a poem? Did you mean that you were blind?

Which is it?

I once was
but falling
and falling
and falling
down a shaft
toward a
dim light
and I never
made it to
that light

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