Unabrupt Until the End
As a child I pondered what I’d
Like to become, as far as profession.
The unnumbered choices got whittled down.
I remember ’em one by one.
The other day I was thinking along the same lines
Like an old sun beaten path in a meadow I still recall
Under all the overgrowth the years put on.
Very few things, careers I mean, meant much
To my frugal way of thinking.
The challenge and the art.
The final conclusions and all the disillusioning disappointments
That go into learning just to get a little education out, just a drop.
And what then? What’s it all about?
How would I mount what I had climbed toward . . .
With what skill would I have to
Turn around a climb back down after achieve what
I’d come to discover as something I’d deemed worth while.
It’s no wonder I settled on being a poet.
Doomed or blessed depending on your prioritous attitudes
To wander off with paper and pen.
Procrastinating all the while about real things.
A little bulb, a plug of pulp and ink,
I use to fill cracks in where others don’t think.
A diamond cutter was my top choice by the age of twelve or thirteen.
Of course growing up just above the poverty level prevented it.
I had to lower my standards just a little
But I still appreciate the uncut block
Of what comes before me in the clear.
I still use and, refrain from using, didactic methods
To get what I want from things I want to stick around,
Shine in the future, keep faith in and admire
From out our clay and concrete mixtures
Cardboard pay-stubs and oucher-voucher statement sinecures
I repeat the strokes blow after blow,
Like a western breeze sailing toward the sunrisen east
It’s always dawn in eternity once you get down below
The swallowing effect time keeps one under.
Leaving dew to sparkling in the morning.
That’s about all I ever hoped for or wanted.
Marbles that roll toward one another and click
In the center of circles and lines we’ve drawn.
Playing our most important games with ourselves and one another.
Matches that strike lights in our eyes
Surprise and the non-fiction side.
Being pushed off the edge of figuring it out.
The bouncing board between the lines
When we accept the punch at the end of a joke.
You can practice diamond cutting with glass
But it doesn’t work.
Blackboard drawings of ships look good,
But they, also, don’t always float.
I’ve learned from not getting anywhere
Just evolving my twiddling thumbs and
Reading Truman Capote, stretch fingers toward the sun
Shining through what’s before my eyes
Spelling goes wrong like threads on an old coat
I cut them off with diamond skill when I have to.
Leaving as much loose thread as I can.
Like meat on the bone.
Keeping the calf fat.
Because the tastes of others interests me less than my own
I want to go home with something unheard of that sounds good or
Looks great and doesn’t need to be addressed
As any one thing, or has to be tucked away.
In any of our popular, convenient envelopes. Oh no.
I prefer the un-shelfable,
Unrefuted indigenous side of life
“Stick to yo’ ribs” kind of stuff that gets
In between the toes in your mind and
Pulls us through to
Some beauteous thread of flavor or meaning.
Things that can’t help but
Be chewed on instead of ground down
Grinding ones indentured teeth.
Over and over in repetitive styles already known
Predigested . . . so to speak.
Nature is only as important
As a smile or a diamond
In a child’s eyes.
Pouring out like the sun at sunrise . . .
In time, in time, in time,
I’ll find my path.
Unabrupt until the end.