Thursday, October 19, 2006

draft

ELISION

How natural to flee before the natural

like women and children and rats

from the sloped decks of something

sinking like my head each night

into my ancient pillow, full of foam

nothing like the curds

the ocean kicks up in its lunar froth.

Which is what I want once more,

the ocean but not the two-thirds fraction

in which the world soaks

like a battered toe. The ocean I want

is you, your saline self,

your not quite infinite tally of cells

sloughing off, most of what

dust is. So you’re the ocean and you’re the dust.

I can’t decide. After dinner,

maybe I’ll say you

are Kentucky. Maybe Rhode Island.

Through both I’ve gone

like a bullet, through both

I’ve driven wanting

just one thing: an end, cessation,

silence, the dime

moon rolling away like exact change.

In Tokyo I bought

from street vendors

horse-meat flavored ice cream

by the scoop

if only to hold

evidence of some awful fact

like a grenade or a Ronald Reagan action figure—

I threw it away

without tasting

but now the taste I imagine

is only sweet,

fills my mouth like a bowl left in the rain.

3 comments:

Ron Mohring said...

Paul! I first read the poem thinking the title was "Eleison" (as in "Kyrie"). Whoa! This one utterly grabs me--such a deft movement from one surprising image to the next, like tumbling down a flight of stairs that are actually piano keys. Or something like that.

Paul said...

Mister Mister. Wow.

M. Shahin said...

"Which is what I want once more,
the ocean but not the two-thirds fraction
in which the world soaks
like a battered toe. The ocean I want
is you, your saline self,"

Is this really a draft? It is wonderful. Those lines above really touches the heart while at the same time being kind of off center. I like it!