The poem will never save the world.
The poem won't even draw you up
from your sick bed and make you feel better.
But the poem is trying to do what it can.
It is learning the fiddle. It is knitting a homemade scarf.
It is riding a Bengal tiger through a field of ragweed
and doing summersaults off of a bridge.
The poem has even mastered some magic tricks:
one with a hand-axe, a rat, and a cantaloupe; the other
with a simple deck of cards.
The poem is satisfying two...no, make that three
beautiful women at once. They can hardly believe
the poem can go on like this. You can hear them singing
like honey and rivers and wine.
The poem is putting fresh, crisp sheets on the bed.
It has bought a new pair of socks for you to wear
every day for the rest of your life.
The poem is making an honest man
out of a shyster. It is teaching your sister to read.
It is planning a vacation: one week in Bali
followed by three days gambling at Cesar's Palace
and buying tickets for the novel, the short story, the monologue
and all of the poem's other friends.
The poem is walking on one bad leg
with an injured orangutan slung over its shoulder.
It is spending long nights alone in room
digging its fingernails into the wall, and talking to ghosts,
and reading Hegel, and beading a necklace
made entirely of scorpions who have solemnly sworn
never to hurt you. You're going to have to trust the poem
despite all of its shortcomings.
Word has it, it knows a couple of secrets
about life and beauty and eternity and grace
I couldn't possibly ever hope to reveal
speaking to you, like I am.
is gluing himself