For the longest time, as late as noon today,
I believed words needed the glaze of music.
And in that time, I took for granted
The consonant cluster’s natural thump,
The serpentine trance of syntax.
I suffered from the unbridled brace of neglect.
I stunted the story’s leap and the visionary’s vaulting ambition.
I knew only primal chakral beats
Because “I write the songs, I write the songs”, I thought.
I versed, simply, through a town without triggering –
Heralded droning choruses
That noble Greek committees would find wanting:
Absent of implication, insinuation or any proper polyphony
Which might have, previously,
Proceeded ghost-like, through the clarity of context
And the yarn of memory.
I took a break from writing.
Actually, I stopped writing poetry.
Instead I let the stroke-inducing strobe of celluloid lure me West –
Where the magician’s cape of a sky – cloudless and powdered blue,
Lulls legions of transient un-hopefuls
Into a Zen-like haphazardry of want, of need, and of so much dramatic desire.
Where the checkout girl’s stymieing query of paper or plastic
Has lead many a soul to a new kind of reckoning:
Toward modern and unmanned kiosks
That do almost all of what anyone could possibly ever want:
Bid us welcome,
Take our earnings
And send us on our way
With never a want for gratitude.
But in time I’ve learned that all
Fruit continues to grow.
It ripens and still goes the course –
Even if the harvest is poorly gleaned.
It knows its own value. In spite of me
It will come to fullness, be seized by more willing hands
Or, dropping from the stem heavy with goodness
Dissolve in dirt and leech in soil –
And at least find some other usefulness
Amongst the scores of other organisms
As it’s carried away, transplanted
Or fed upon
To fill some other great and worthwhile purpose.
| Juan-Paolo Perre