Back at the beginning of November, on a grim grisly Thursday whereupon my classes had been canceled (for the most part), I decided to take the sweater-clad Josie to Lawrence for a day of vegan biscuits-and-gravy and fine self-taught literary swimming lessons.
A nice Google search of “free Lawrence Events” pointed me to the presence of George Saunders that evening at 6pm, Liberty Hall Theatre, Mass Street.
George Saunders is the magically creative author of Lincoln in theBardo, most notably, and a number of other short stories. Come 17:45, I shimmied myself into the back row of the Phantom of the Operaesque theatre, plastic cup of red box wine swirling like a class act in my right hand.
Earlier that Thursday I had acquired the book, A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry, so perhaps the sinuous lyrics of Whitman–peace be upon all the Walts of our world–were the milk solids to the ghee of my clarifying soul.
While waiting for George to sonder up to the stage, electrified by both the wine and the exquisite arena, I took out my Moleskine and laid down the following beat:
Let me tell you about this aesthetic.
This vast unflinching cavern of
Buttoned-up tweedly tailored minute men
Of an intellectual battleground,
Ransoming the world—the eternal—the everlasting–
For a solitary brush with a
Let me leave my generation,
My jaw is tight and bursting with questions
Too full and too weighty
To leave room for yawns.
What are we if we do not participate?
What are we
If we do not make Time?
Time is a myth just as I am a myth,
Therefore I am the
Equivalent to Time.
In here, amidst the sondering ripple
Of intellectual minds mingling together,
I am as endless as the mountains.
I know not pretense
Nor presence of character,
But a joyful abundance
Thrusts out of my Soul,
Consuming me—what is all of me–
On it’s way towards release.
I find cannot release.
The abundance is me and I am me
And to release is to disappear
We are more than the mind
Conditioned within us;
More than the words we are given.
We outweigh the pen and we smother the paper
And we crush the keys and we obliterate the obvious
Because I am you and I am
The plastic licked cup wine pluck that
Hugs my feet and deserves
My love, too.
We are not that different.
Our individual random vacuum-packed abundance
Guarantees a thousand birthday wishes
To us both.
I cannot always deal with the delicious needs of my Soul
I can deal with Yours.
If you give it a chance.
In this World of our exuberant entropy,
I relinquish the breath to the weight of the world:
To the curiosity of indulgence.
I see no beginner here:
I have always been an ender
Of worlds and of caverns
And deep places
In here I harbor refuges
And fallen angles and
Giftless children and
Specialty animals upon which
Lie coats so fair and so fine
It is all you can do not to
Thrust out your knife.
What Is our truth but an extrapolation
Of confidence and heroism?
What will I hear when I dare
To press play?
These tears that I shed
Fall only for me
And the close rippling doors that
Stand in isolation.
When I sneeze I exhale sharp
Jagged bits of ragged intellect
Cut on truth that falters.
To try is to partake
In our world of endless grace
And enormous fragmented questions.
And to question is our only
Guarantee that you and me will make it out okay.
Amongst the tweedly-clad and buttoned
Intellects of a mighty
Truth-telling generation of
The reader brings his or her own experience to the poem and creates meaning. Here is my experience.