poetry, voices

October 10, 2008 at 6:38 pm Leave a comment

the hippy

The  hippy’s woman
spends  an hour, in the morning,
her  tired and frizzy hair, vainly attempting
to hide the scars

that  clown her face,
distort her smile.

Gentle she seems, meek
(but the careful avoidances
mask a thing
the hippy knows too well):

her words wander,
refracting sometimes strangely: hebephrenia,  perhaps:
may be,

she  carries scars too
in her brain.

…having outlined and
emphasized, I say,
she goes out to assume the burden

of another day.


The hippy rises early,
most mornings. Brandied
coffee, joint fuming brain,
he starts the fire…

and what will he do
today. This home,
this house; a symbol.

He made the money
selling pot. (say
that softly, now.)

He built  it himself:
hoisted  each beam, shifted
each plank; this ‘place’

is no  place, it is part
of his self, writ large
and quite wordlessly.

He has  missed the city at times,
to be sure. He has few visitors,
here on his scrubby hill.

But he knows this hill
as once he knew lovers;
each curve recalling a secret,

a private experience; he hasn’t
had so many paths
since childhood.

The land knows no lies,
no portents, no meanings:  the deer
do not cry of justice,

struggling against that
long vaguely sensed, and suddenly familiar spectre.

He has known, at times
a mysterious calmness: “all things,” he says later,

“made equal and thus all
things one, no division
any longer visible

“whether of self or other, whether
of gain or loss, where
there is no word nor separation.”

The knowledge, you see,
is quite quiet; nearly,  in fact, silent. I say, he
becomes more silent.


They greet me as a friend
each time they meet me.
(But each hearing
can breed echoes, with some.

Perhaps somewhere
i lost my sense of time:
i think
i have never been touched.)

Am i  my own friend?
At  times this same insight
is self-directed, pauses each
word and swallows each act.

I have  never been, in a sense
other than a stranger
to anyone, at all. The price
of poetry is silence: but of  its lack, noise. I have
learned silence,
by now, fairly well.
But how do you speak
a lack of words?–we say

little,  really, the hippy
and i. Shadows…
this next time, I’ll sharpen
his knife.

has many forms)


Fugitive  images and
vain  vague images: once,
I can remember, I hoped
to be free.

I lived  on the hippy’s
land,  for a while.
It  was bad for my art
and not good for me;

we drank  those months
away.  Yet still these visions
of some esoteric brotherhood
will not resolve

to vain  dreams
and  self-deceptions.

–i have described myself
quite often

as a voyager toward
truth. but, to be honest,

i’m  not at all certain
how to stand it, should i find it.



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