Totally unrelated to this poem, I spent the night at my wife's company's Christmas party. It was an interesting experience, no doubt, but one that left a bit blank eyed in the stare. I bring this up because I have been meaning to post this poem for some time, but there are two versions. In my current state, I do not remember what the other version was (or where I stuck it, like a naughty little boy). For now, you can have this one, and if I ever unearth the other one, well, you'll be the first to know.
Totally related to the poem at hand, it is both nonsense and no-nonsense. I suppose, if I had to dicuss the whither whats and widdershins of it, I would say it is my attempt at something like Whitman's "To the Learn'd Astronomer", except I would never claim that there is no beauty in understanding things. Those who fail to see the beauty in science have merely never seen science: they have dry tables and ponderous failures, never the glory of what it really means. This poem, in part, is about hearing the dry rules and ignoring them for the more important things behind them.
Fifteen people explained to me, in simple words,
To never start a poem with a number. "It's absurd,"
One whispers, deep in theories of structure's holy presence;
"And never end," he says, "in mid-sentence."
Fifteen, well...give or take. We all have our opinions.
Another dozen sat further back, turning the evening
Air into a most brilliant dull, the great weaving
Epic of a dry river bed. The noble leafless tree,
Reaching up to the bronze sky in marble relief:
Dancing in the wind as though it seriously believed.
The rest of the rest (of the day), all some odd, we speak
In sleight undertones, the corpse of faiths laid to teak—
Smiling, riding the shadows of webs and songs—
Dotting the room's northernmost corner in broken formation:
Stretching into an unnamed and meandering constellation.
All these rules and serious men, with their arbitrations.
All these grandiose things: queens and spiritous libations.
8:38, Tuesday, and some year's November, not quite cold
But not quite worth a memory. It would seem
Not quite nothing. A breath fogs to illuminate the soul
before being lost on the edge of the window pane,
A single drop traveling down, a single stream
Keeping its secrets from this room of serious things.
Some of us say goodbye, done with talking philosophy,
And you could say, wondering
Si Vales, Valeo
file under (Poetry)