Saturday, August 31, 2019

HERE'S WHERE THE POEM COMES IN

It's probably
true, the soul
likes its strictness—yes,

it actually desires
its tightness
and its rigor.

it longs to be stiff,
wants to stick
to the classics—it insists

on complete
silence in the library,
on reading (by candlelight)

canonical literature
mistrustfully and critically,
on going straight

to the Sanskrit
or ramming Derrida hard-
as-it-can at Saussure.

However—the soul
is also smooth,
completely

edgeless,
and invisible. As such,
it must also crave

to be mistaken,
to feel stupid—and often
misrepresented;

to get taken
for the proverbial
ride and even get

called a little son
of a bitch, now and then,
by courtroom men in

tailored suits or brimstone-
eyed priests
in identical robes.

It has no mother, either,
so it must be used to
being overlooked

by heroic
women in white
coats or blue uniforms

who routinely check
the body, not for a soul
at all, but just

for a pulse,
for a heartbeat,
for a certain rhythm

that resembles—
which perfectly
rigid military

march, what turgid
German symphonic
masterpiece, exactly?

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