The Sum of my Solitude

I wish I could amount to more than
The sum of my solitude,
Or dance into winter
The way the ice melts into the ground, or
Like stories wrought in iron or slumber,
And those few hollow souls playing jazz piano
At three in the morning strung up in the
Unity and disunity of the ends of things.

Oh, to be open or empty or anything but
Changing in the winter, to be more than
My shadow in the winter.
To find (more often) the poetry in raw streets,
Or hung between subway cars, to create more
Than what is expected of me,
To create without hazard what is
Expected of me.

I think the trees once came alive in Norway, or maybe
The back woods of New England,
Or behind empty photographs of Santorini,
Or colored in pencil between artificial pause,
And somehow beautiful, as though they would
Surmount the seeds and roots and
Encompass their chromatics in
Lexington red.

Sometimes when it is dark
On the sidewalk, and all still and
Quiet, somewhere residential,
I feel at home. But oh, how to eschew and
Envelop, how to articulate the articulations of
Gray Matter,

And I have seen vacant lots and bottle tops,
Glass smothered and
Alive in red dirt.
Oh, to bewilder and excite,
I profess myself to solitary night.

I have seen the things lined in velvet, too—
To pronounce themselves urbane and prophetic,
I have seen the well-off and the beautiful
Fling themselves through time and intricacy,
Only to land on brick streets surrounded by
Self-selected oblivions.

And then there is the rain and it falls
In sheets of paper and nothing feels all
Right, like it did when I was
Not so chapped, not so aware of
The way time carries itself in the
Carcasses of dead birds.

And did you hear about the dead birds?
They fell in masses,
Over Kentucky and Louisiana and Nevada,
A storm of red wings and dead, black
Bodies, and some were alive still but
Barely, and those ones would
Sing themselves through early
Afternoon and die by nightfall,
And no one knows what happened to them.

Oh, let me scream my frailties,
Oh, let me amount to more than the sum of my solitude.





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