Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Protracted Episode

A. F. Moritz (1991)

Then I saw one who, biting at himself,
dodged at us through the traffic. His plastic neck
stretched so his jaws could reach his shining buttocks:
cunningly made. And as he chewed he said,

"It's no unworthy task to create a speech
that ignores everything this time thinks true:
helpless patterns and correspondences,
the machine of age and endlessness of death.

This speech would be the song of an old man
praising his own eroded voice as though
it were the glory of mountains and the withered
centuries, his bleached bones were their bright snow.

But to project this man, his voice, his song,
is to confess the other speech. He is only will
yearning both to forget what should not be
and cut a swath through it with his sharp brow.

He is a voice that wonders while the flies
circle the bearded grass-tips and the stars
burst on the mountains—wonders all the time,
chanting perplexity and willing praise."

So many tears then filled me as we stood
in a bank's shadow, and so much desire
to guard these words, I quit my guide and journey,
came back, and tried to remember all my days.

1 comment:

dan1968 said...

from The Best of the Best American Poetry (1988-1997) Editor: Harold Bloom, Series Editor: David Lehman