Thursday, March 8, 2012

Their Currents Turn, take 2 (now including footnotes!)

Their Currents Turn[1]

That moment between time
A glimmer of a second
Of existence of doubt
Of suspension of disbelief.
The hard line of reality
Glistens like a memory
Faded, splintered and sedated[2]

10:58pm in the bathroom
in the dark to pee
before sleep the thought rises
like the return of a dream
from muddy water that
Nothing is real.
(and everyone believes it)
The window; the toilet;
Goose bumps;

Merrily merrily merrily merrily[3]
I pinch myself and wake in pain
Staring into the confusion
Between night and day,

I am a bird alone on a roof[4]
(with seven thousand others)[5]
Singing to wake the world:
If of life you keep a care
Shake off slumber and beware
Awake, awake![6]

Numb and Amused and Slaves
Of what we want.[7]
“Ain't we all blind in the dark?” said Diggle[8]

Blind captains lost at sea
What hope?
Still less for those who see
And seeing, dream.
What cunning!
The pain of the pinch too high.

O captain, uncaptained[9]
Dream-life dreamer
In evening-shadow ship
What hope?

"Don't say that!" groaned Wilbur.
"I have to say what's true."[10]
But every ear hears Pilate[11]

I saw the crowd on the corner watching[12]
While a man beat his dog.
I saw the crowd on the corner watching
While a drunk beat his boy.
I saw the crowd on the corner scatter
While the fogey stooped to gather
The musty stack of weathered books
He’d fumbled.
I saw three cars screech up to the corner
Lights, singing “You…You…You…”
“Help! Police!”
The men with sticks and uniforms
Piled out; piled in; and were gone.
Like a dream, the man and his books
Were gone. They never were.
(and everyone believes it)
The man; the books;
His spectacles;

To read, to write[13]
Have become
Another way
To eat and make love.
With no chance of reason.
What chance?

O reason, unreasoned
Self-named science
In vapor-stone dreams
What hope?

You know the one.
Running, running, running, [14]
Running through a country
Always known and unfamiliar,
A rocky country.
What terrible bliss
Because he was dreaming
Because he was awake
Because the isle is full of noises.[15]

Flowering plain
Wind-blown grass
Fair flowers
Hill of earth
Handfuls of dust
In shadows
A drop[16]
A sparkling less-than drop
In the great blue motion
Of the darkened sea

The mad unblind grope in darkness
Some lulled to lose the name of Action[17]
Serial sleepers slayed with things instead[18]
Some scream to wake the dead
And how squirm the
Seeing dreamers at their scream!

But the screamers are mad, you know.
The screamers are all just mad.

[1] Shakespeare, Hamlet
[2] Switchfoot, Politicians
[3] From the folk song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
[4] Psalm 102
[5] As Elijah
[6] Shakespeare, The Tempest
[7] Switchfoot, Lonely Nation
[8] C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
[9] From Walt Witman, O Captain, My Captain
[10] E.B. White, Charlottle’s Web
[11] John 18
[12]Stanza based on Joseph Heller, Catch-22
[13]Five lines based on  T.H. White, The Once and Future King
[14] Seven lines based on James Baldwin, Another Country
[15] Shakespeare, The Tempest
[16] Four lines based on T.H. White, The Once and Future King
[17] Shakespeare, Hamlet
[18] House of Heroes, Serial Sleepers

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