Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Credo, Part Deux

Remember in Oliver Stone's ridiculous biopic of Jim Morrison, when Val Kilmer says, "Gimme some death!"--how you totally identified with him, if only in the hope that you wouldn't have to see the rest of the film? No? You didn't beg for some death? Well, Stephen Dunn is going to give it to you anyway, in this, the second in our series of Poems Reflecting On Some Facet Or Other Of My Life Philosophy. This is about the importance of having an acute sense of mortality.

Choosing To Think Of It

Today, ten thousand people will die
and their small replacements will bring joy
and this will make sense to someone
removed from any sense of loss.
I, too, will die a little and carry on,
doing some paperwork, driving myself
home, the sky is simply overcast,
nothing is any less than it was
yesterday or the day before. In short,
there's no reason or every reason
why I'm choosing to think of this now.
The short-lived holiness
true lovers know, making them unaccountable
except to spirit and themselves—suddenly
I want to be that insufferable and selfish,
that sharpened and tuned.
I'm going to think of what it means
to be an animal crossing a highway,
to be a human without a useful prayer
setting off on one of those journeys
we humans take. I don't expect anything
to change. I just want to be filled up
a little more with what exists,
tipped toward the laughter which understands
I'm nothing and all there is.
By evening the promised storm
will arrive. A few in small boats
will be taken by surprise.
There will be survivors, and even they will die.

-Stephen Dunn

PS: Don't blame me for the cheerless existential yearning here. Jen Kostecki made me do it.


scotland said...

I had been trying to avoid blaming Jen,but since you've brought up the subject. Though this poem doesn't acknowledge the existance of blame. I would like to award any concerned parties a flame of blame that came from the same game by that name. If that doesn't make sense your way ahead of me on this one. I'm thinking hours ahead when I can get my hands on a Little Debbie to wash down the Karoke' I'll be wading through on my journey across the color-line of the Harlem Uprising. God! I haven't heard my heart beat for at least 2 mins. Could something be up?

No more Predictions!


Jasph said...

You've leapt out of my zone here, but I did want to say that I liked Stephen Dunn's poem better before I typed it up than I did after I posted it.

He didn't quite get it all. Should've gone with the Jack Gilbert poem I started out with.

But all will be redeemed in parts 3 & 4...

coloredsock said...

it's easy to take blame over the 'nets'. i don't mind. and why is it that when i read or think about how the hell we all got here and what'll happen next, i get winged into the star wars intro space scene moving through stars in slow motion? i somtimes think of the Buddha sitting under the tree with craze swirling around and Little Debbies tempting him, and he sat perfectly still without even scratching his nose. dang, i can never 'sit' without scratching...i could get 'serious' about the seriousness of the poem, but i'm going out to play in the garden, cause you never know when the storm will come at your sunset. xojen