Poem for June 28

June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

MICHAEL KOHLHAAS

undisturbed was the first word,
the first metaphor, the
first moral

the first visual arrangement

there never was a first narrative,
no first ambition

but the classical plugs of light
and snow
and the tightness of mud
rings, and undisturbed glass
resting on your fingers,
the evergreens and ferns

if I could avoid it
I would never tell you anything

“But there’s always that tension
of being burdened with ‘I'”

there are two crazy trees in your eyes

the first time he burned the town
it fell like a grove of
giant chrysanthemums

the second time he burned the town
green stagnant water
came between his teeth

the third time he burned the town
his fingers were filled with
white chrysanthemums

the first time he burned the town
he hated himself
and he hated the town

the second time he burned the town
he loved himself
though he hated the town

there was no third time he burned the town

-Joseph Lease, from Human Rights (Zoland Books, 1998)

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