On the coldest day of winter
In the year of ‘47
I came to Earth squealing
Already suspicious of so abrupt
Naked and poorly formed
Smeared with placental essence
Squinting and stammering
Unwilling and unable to
Participate but certain it was
Not so different, it seems,
After all the years of days on end
From the rest of it
And those moments of delusion
When I was convinced I swam well
While nearly drowning
In the swell of living
Seven decades and change have passed,
And now, in this venomous year
Of maladies viral and visceral
Someone, like some great umbilical impulse,
Has left food at my doorstep
As I sit kicking the walls, dreaming
Of a light at the tunnel’s end
I sit under the unbroken sky
baby blue, no jet trails
and think of other days
so like this, a longing ago
when everything was alive
with wonder, when the sun
meant promise and possibility.
Under the unbroken sky, I sit
pining for the occasional cloud,
wishing up, as they say, a storm,
a world in my head
awaiting its cue.
To say my father loved Jesus
is as wrong as saying he feared him.
To him, Jesus was a landlord,
a creditor, someone owed a debt,
which, left unpaid, would end in pain,
not only justified but welcomed,
insisted upon, and in the great
tradition of the spawn of Yahweh,
pass on to children and their children,
the unwanted and unearned burden of birthright.
Good morning, says the baptist, and
slaps you on the butt. It’s time
to be fitted for your chains.
We’ve lost the will to listen,
instead expressing and expressing
without end, without impression
as if we were generators and not motors,
as if beams of reality flowed
brainless and wantless
toward – what? Tomorrow?
There is no tomorrow,
today only, in a false succession
of todays. How can there be
expression, alone and only?
There must first be an emptiness,
gradually filled with the stuff of galaxies,
or more remote still, of giant gas clouds
or invisible matter, so dark.
As luck would have it
I was born who I am,
propelled into wonder
and deep disturbance,
pushed from behind
by fear and tedium,
compelled by curiosity
to delve and burrow.
Shall I say my fate
has formed me,
or have I moved through Earth
not spellbound, but spellbinding?
No use complaining, no
point in shallow grievance.
Fate works not by force