02 February, 2013

A Poem from the Vaults


I believe
in speaking.
No bones.
Your indolence
earns no rightful claim
to this
fractured sleep.
And aren’t you
as tired as I am
of our patchy game
of Telephone?
Hooves in Surry
and Moose in a hurry
get us nowhere fast.
But here we are,
and here there are no
rights for me to cite,
this being some
unprecedented rhubarb.
The I who wants you wants
that innermost of yous,
whose limber body
he has seen
only in a certain
lonely medium,
but for whom he often
sings, in the shower,
off-key as a deaf man,
just to feel
its resonance.
Because it’s something.
Because it’s lovely.
Because it matters.

 * * * * *

This poem sat in a folder for three years, more or less in the form you see here. During that time, I was uncertain of what to do with it. It’s so damned personal. In the end, posting it here seemed the most appropriate thing, never mind that the impetus I initially had to write it — the poem’s “you” — disappeared long before I completed the piece.

I’ve been reading a great deal lately about poetry’s obligation to truth. This of course inspires all sorts of rhetorical questions about which truth poetry should reveal, and precisely what that truth is. Strictly speaking, “Declaration” is true; though, it’s not an autobiographical account of the conflict I endured a few years ago, drawn and quartered by the lines hooked to my heart (figuratively) and the chains anchoring me (in the physical sense). If it wasn’t, I would be using this space to describe the mess my head was in when I wrote down the two very apt words from which the rest of “Declaration” grew: unprecedented rhubarb.

1 comment:

  1. Many states away but still missing you.


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