Chant Enormous Whisper

I’m not like some poets
who write in English
My lines are too imperfect
My thoughts are imperfect too,
veering off course – like balloons

I envy their effortless restraint
their ability to peek under the image
so dispassionately, so deeply with
a knowledge of every nuance.

And unlike others, I have no word songs,
or repetitions, to reify pain or madness.
No losses suffered,
And no tidy messages
either, of gardens, or lovers (well, a few)
Or meaningful moments of homey-ness
the coda that poets live by

And no absurdities that sometimes
only language can reveal
then half an hour later…
(the Chinese food of poetry)

Yes, like the balloon I once drew
for someone who asked my innermost thoughts
a Prof. at the Corcorraine,
who thought a translation
of Jaques Mariatan was enough English,
if you wanted to be an artist

“Essence of a balloon”
I wrote carefully
below the simple line drawing

All I could capture
was the outline of its shape
And my poems too
simply edge the perimeter
of something too inscrutable to decipher

Some feel a cast of foreignness
Like a bridge over a chasm
they’d rather not cross,
not at this time anyway

Perhaps if I lived differently
thought differently,
I could fit between the doors
of two covers
onto the bookshelf of life

But something in me
keeps veering off course
Light as air, unsubstantial
Pulled by the chant
of an enormous whisper
into a wealth of emptiness

March 29th, 2005.