Thursday, May 5, 2005

The Bare Bones of a Poem

The world is a world of metaphor—
No thing is a thing in itself.

If horses had gods, their gods would be horses,
said one with a Trojan horse laugh.

And ever since, each day
a sad child grows
to find there is no Santa Claus,
no bearded grandpa on a celestial throne,
no shining blue boy playing a flute—
"These tales are all a bit too cute;
I am no child," says he.

How astute the human brain!
Horse gods, Norse gods, little-boy-blue gods,
or bearded old-man-in-the-sky gods--
just food for the hopeless insane!

And yet...
The phone booth out behind my fence
is where Clark Kent secretly
kicks off his outer pants!

It's where a broken-hearted girl
tries one last time to retrieve her man.
It's where a trembling toxicomane
scours the towers for another horse to ride.
It's where an exhausted wheeler-dealer
grasps at one last straw to get a loan,
and, failing that, does not go home,
but rings a local whore’s phone.

It’s here the ingenue got the nod;
It’s here that someone talked to God.

I have eyes! I am not blind
It’s just aluminum and glass,
wires, square metal ugliness—
No Central Square of miracles!

But those are empty eyes
that see just aluminum and glass
wires, metal, ugliness:
They see just empty truths, and those are lies.

Naked facts are the sound of one hand clapping,
They're the tree falling in an empty forest,
They are bones without the flesh of meaning,
while meaning gives flesh to the barest of bones.

And this is why I worship stones.

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