Monday, December 23, 2019

Brainlessly, Painlessly

For D.H. Lawrence
My creatures were spawned in lagoons inside
caves whose high gates of sharp rock resist
waves off the dark blue Tyrrhenian Sea. Home
to illustrious daughters and sons of Etruscans long
gone – children of whom they must therefore
concede that they be, brainlessly, painlessly, none
know any more than that they’re on a rock sea floor
of a body of water wherein they’ve heard echoing
passersby’ voices explain their cave bordered
a creature called Italy. Words that made as little
sense as all the words that I would lend them
in various forms later on of what I liked to think
could be called poetry. Why do I think it now
urgent to let the world know of a provenance
no one including my creatures is interested in?
Might I prod a great crowd or a god to assess their
improbable state to awaken us all to some truth
we might then be enabled to make and to bring
to Eternity’s Table – to get where we wanted to go
both here and not here? Whatever I’ve wanted
from them, whatever they’ve wanted from me,
my creatures keep rushing unblinkingly up from
the grieving Tyrrhenian Sea, and there’s nothing
for me to exert but an agency on their behalf to
conceive for them forms in which they can keep
whirling their lyrical chaos in swoons and small
quakes in lagoons, I believe that one day will
betake us beyond where we’ve gone or we’ll be.

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