Monday, March 10, 2008

Variation on Theme

I

Today I’m not afraid to leave the house
It is cold but I have cigarettes to smoke
I thought it was Monday when I prefer to stay indoors
But Tuesday, alas, I welcome
With eyes wide and arms bright

Today I’m not afraid to leave the house
It is cold but I have cigarettes to smoke
I thought it was Monday, to which I close my eyes
But Tuesday, alas, stay open wide
With arms that grow long and bright


II

Today I’m not afraid to leave the house
It is cold but I have cigarettes to smoke
Beyond a fence, I see from inside
A fever breeze sick with the fits
Shake surly flakes from its perspiring head

Today I am not afraid to leave the house
It is cold but I have cigarettes to smoke
Beyond the fence, a sigh drools casually
Outside suggests a young reign is ending
An old season dies


III

Today I am not afraid to stray from the house
Yes it is cold, but I have cigarettes to smoke
While my mind wanders atop roofs high
Outside it races my heartbeat
Like the sun chasing night

Still today I am not afraid to go outside
It is cold but hope holds up my sky
For If I sleep and gaze not on suns rise
I’d sooner forget
Nature doesn’t need me to survive.

For sienna and flesh hugs me as victim of flush
And “blood” can not capture this
Description only mammals can name
Categorizing sensation with word like “sublime”
To delicately frame the sunset’s limitless paint


VI

I am unafraid
Now to step one foot outside
It is cold yes
But today I have prepared
Cigarettes to soak up time

And when smoke,
Like youth
Foams forth from the estuary
Betwixt my tongue
I’ll go back inside

My self
However grotesque
Will know
Nothing of sublime.
Only true bliss.

1 comment:

Will said...

There's a Robert Frost-ian air to this poem. Seems to me like a leaf being blown around in the wind, dropping suddenly to the concrete only to get blown up into the air again. Personal, though, and I'm troubled by this stanza:

Today I am not afraid to leave the house
It is cold but I have cigarettes to smoke
Beyond the fence, a sigh drools casually
Outside suggests a young reign is ending
An old season dies


A young reign ends simultaneously with an old season? Why differentiate between a death and an ending? And most importantly, how come a season can die, but a reign simply ends?

I don't know, there's a lot to unpack here. It may do you well to only repeat the theme once in each section. There is plenty to read into.