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Poet to Poet

By SAS

"People wish to be settled.  
Only as long as they are unsettled is there any
hope for them"  ~Thoreau

Poet, my life has been
an instrument for a mouth.
I have never seen,
  breathing wind,
  which comes from I know not where,

       arranging &      c h a n g i n g
  my needs, so as to make
an opening for his voice or hers,
Muse, White Goddess, Mother with invisible milk,
Androgynous God in whose grip
           I struggle,

turning this way & that,
believing that I chart my life, poet,
my loves-

When in fact it is she,
he who charts them-
all for the sake of some as yet
unwritten poem.

(pause)

Twisting the wind,
twisting like a pirate
d
 a
   n
    g
       l
         i
           n
             g    in a cage
from a high seawall,
the wind whips through my bones
making an instrument,
my back a xylophone,
my sex a triangle chiming,
my lips stretched tight as drumskins.

I no longer care
who is playing me,
but fear makes the hairs
stand up on the back of my neck, poet,
when I think that she may stop.

(pause)

And yet I long for peace
as feverently as you do-
  the sweet connubial bliss
  that admits no turbulence,
  the settled life
  that defeats poetry,
  the hearth before which children play-
(not poet's children, ragtag, neurotic, demon-ridden, but the sweet
apple-cheeked children)

My daughter dreams
of peace as I do:
    Marriage, proper house, proper husband, nourishing dreamless sex,
love like a hot toddy, or an apple pie.

But the Muse
   has other plans for you & I, poet

Puppet Mistress,
d
 a
   n
    g
       l
         i
           n
             g    us
on this dark proscenium,
 p u l l i n ..........g our strings,
   blowing us toward cornwall,
                   toward Venice,
                   toward Delphi,
                   toward some lurking counterpane
a tent upheld,
by one throbbing
blooddrenched pole-
her pen, her pencil, the monolith we
worship underneath the gleaming moon.

Copyrightę2000 SAS