Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Poem: Not Present

Not Present

Being in the past--is jealousy on my part--in general
~ Leslie Scalapino

Not sentient : reliving an old photograph from college,
standing with her outside the dorm, last day
of the quarter, sunshine blinding me

Life is not retrospective : memory
confuses the brain : iron anchor

The floating world : being miserable on pages
of dust-stained journals : holding a mirror
to the boy, immature, who spilled ink
and so much more
in misguided efforts to be

Not sentient : not present


Some mornings I do not know who I am until
someone speaks to me : captivated by the sunrise
or a dream encasing me in a cocoon of imagery

Not present : picking at a hangnail

10,000 things cloud my eyes, and still the raven
can wake me from retrospection and root my body
in the waking moment, the caw of now


Lost presence : when her touch awakened me
to this flesh, everything reversed, the floating world
receded : how many years have passed?


Sentience : a boy at the time, and not present, then
the knock of death, everything reversed, split
wide open, a gaping whole in my chest

Fathers do not die : misguided child : the heart stops
and the earth opens its arms in acceptance


All these things : not present : an inversion
of the laws, emptiness beneath the surface
of the fragile ice I called my life

Obviously : being fairly immature my whole life
as I waited for someone to speak to me, to know
what I was seeking : barking dogs, temporary
tattoos, blue cream Nehi

But not present : obviously


Standing beside Sabino Creek, I drew circles
in the sand, reminders of something, something
I read in a book, or dreamed : circles mean
something about presence, or sentience, or . . . .


Not sentient : being in the past


Awareness : opening the ivy-covered heart, seeking
the girl I once knew only to find her grown and married,
lost to me, and yet, and yet . . .

There is feeling, not sentience, but presence : pain,
and the roots of my flesh secured in soil

Knowing nothing : everything opens


Not present : seeking the anchor's weight,
setting memory aside : everything
opens : knowing nothing

Raven's caw : a circle

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