Friday, June 17, 2011

Personal Poem #2

It is 1:13 p.m. Friday afternoon in Seattle
Queen Anne hill to be more exact
I’m in the living room sitting here
in front of the computer typing this
which will one day be in all the literary textbooks
like an ode by John Keats
I will be famous and make appearances on Oprah
except that Oprah’s show ended
so this would have to be a fantasy Oprah
similar in kind to the fantasy of having a poem displayed
on the glossy pages of a literary textbook
for young students with literary inclinations
who all dream of having an enduring work
displayed on the glowing screen of an iPod
this is stupid
I just put earplugs in my ears
because Lewis is next door making a lot of racket
with his power tools and rake and leaf blower
he looks like a Vietnam vet at war with grass and dead leaves
wandering back and forth with grim determination
a gas-powered machine on his back
he will never be famous like John Keats
if he carries on like this
he should just sit down and lean and loaf observing a spear
         of summer grass
which would be a lot quieter
at 10:00 this morning I ate a slice of cherry cheesecake
and watched a documentary about life on Saint Hélène
a tiny island in the south Atlantic
after breakfast I began plunging into books
Imagine the task of mounting 10 Saint Pauls
without the convenience of Staircases
John Keats wrote to his brother Tom
August 3rd, 1818, on climbing Ben Nevis
the highest mountain in Great Britain
the whole immense head of the Mountain
is composed of large loose stones
chasms 1500 feet in depth
turn one giddy if you choose to give way to it
We tumbled in large stones and set the echoes at work in fine style
Sometimes these chasms are tolerably clear
sometimes there is a misty cloud which seems to steam up
and sometimes they are entirely smothered with clouds

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