Off and On
Over rutted fields the unfenced Southern sky
deepens and unfolds. The frozen mud
fringing a ditch stands tall and bows humbly
to a strange parade of supplicants
stuffed with paradox, gorged on sleeplessness.
Groves and hedges moan, fingered by gusts
nicking necks and stinging knees
too bent from bowing to withstand that breeze.
Nearby, a cinderblock palazzo rises in the smoky dawn,
peopled by bells who must be dealt a glancing blow
to mend their tone, who sit to burn away those extra eyes
fitted through blind years. Vague flashes flit
across their retinas, then splinter into breaths that segue
into stealthy trips from where they never were
to where they'll always be. With devastating smiles,
some smear a strip of crimson on the hour, then wipe it off.
Here cleverness collapses while wit is at an impasse:
Learning to grunt or simply stink have their allure.
Bald heads make balder hearts cringe and purr,
and mow the grassy minds that blithely ornament
their fusty mines with half-baked thoughts. But dormant
in the overeager pit these seekers think of as themselves
a ragged pine lists, blanketed with snow. Its needles drip softly,
its black bark sparkles coyly, waiting to connect our dots.
I love digging into the materials and grammar of many art forms, and feel intensely satisfied when I can write a poem or design a tee shirt or take a picture or, most recently, coil a simple pot. Sometimes the creative process proceeds easily, but most of the time it's painstaking work excavating my own ruins deep in the bowels of those humid caves where I stumble across fragments of myself. Mishima wrote, "When people concentrate on the idea of beauty, they are, without realizing it, confronted with the darkest thoughts that exist in this world. That, I suppose, is how human beings are made." Yeah.