Sunday, March 16, 2014

Darkness of Noon

There is an unfortunate room by the seaside
where I read Crime and Punishment.
This is my analysis.
The room has barely space for a couch, yet it has dignity.
It is a college where I meet the best men and women
of my generation.
The atmosphere is thick with the heat of discussion.
The disease, unchecked, hurries to expose a wound
that needs time.
The robins are policing the neighborhood again.
The purposeful spontaneity of my crime is thrilling.
The love of my sister stops them
from taking my theories seriously.
The water of this new novel will be in my weeping.
I meet my bride in the break between heaven and hell.
She is never far from my solitude.
Angels appear in my leg chains.
     A speech in a prisoner's mouth is perfect.
     A letter in a lover's hand is good.
     A drop of water in my cup is best.

This is my vision of the Brothers Karamazov at Calvary.
Christ is silent while Mitya
takes the thorns from his crown.
Alyosha invites the soldiers to a tax collector's house.
Pilate stands on the deck of a frontier.
     The darkness of noon drives Peter to the sea.
In the distance the abstract expressionists are motioning
the sheep into congregations.
The two ships are countries in Sarah's mind.
Rachel has taught her how to navigate
the stormy waters of Israel's soul.
Wonder Woman sits on the Statue of Liberty.
Her wrists are slit in a thousand places,
but she has never killed herself.
She is the saint of the American dream.

I walk through the narrow gate
and unfold in the shepherd's pasture.
I make an appointment with Him,
but He is always available.
He bubbles up in my thoughts
and surfaces in my speech.
We hang a child's drawing that reminds us
more of our answers than the stroke of a master.
Your characters are grazing
beyond your kitchen window.
Guide them through the harness of their invention.
Let them seduce you with the flexibility of their hearts.
I am finally ankle deep in prosperity.
The bread breaks on the beach
in waves of concentration.

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