Monday, April 04, 2011

Lee Stern: Four



I don’t know if the British Empire
has been doing a very good job lately.
I don’t know if it’s been concentrating on the job at hand.
Maybe between putting the King and the Queen on the Ferris Wheel,
they’ve lost track of the wider opportunities that are available to it
and that men of wisdom would take advantage of
for the greater good and glory of the realm.
And maybe
when the Ferris Wheel came to a stop when their car was at the top of its circle,
the King and the Queen looked down precipitously
and asked what was going on,
where the commoners were going to,
and what the island was doing chugging away through the clouds that were dispersed
on all sides of the even handed dominion,
looking for landings that might have coexisted with clocks full of time.


If you’re not doing anything right now,
I wonder if you’d help me move this wall.
I’ve tried to move it a couple of times myself
but it’s just too heavy.
And that’s the trouble with being on the receiving ends of these heavy walls.
Even after we made it very clear that we didn’t want them to ourselves,
we got them anyway.
What was even the point of outlining our preferences?
Letting them know that we wanted a lightweight wall
would have been just as futile
as saying that we wanted the door to face in another direction.
It would have been
just as futile as saying that the quicksand we were putting in our buckets
wasn’t always delivered to us possessing the same texture.
But that its ingredients when we started to observe them
brought questions straining to bring answers to our view.


I’ll take three of those, if you don’t mind.
And if you wouldn’t mind wrapping them up for me,
I’d really appreciate it.
When I get home and I unwrap it, I can see what I bought.
I can see if it’s what I wanted to buy.
Or if it’s something that society felt I might have needed
without asking me for my input in the matter,
my preferences or the other circumstances
that bound me to my often-unusual place.
Sometimes, if I’m wrapping something,
I think of all the people who are running out of paper.
And I want to deliver reams of it to them so they don’t have to worry.
But I see miraculously
that you have plenty of it in front of you right now.
So delivering more of it to you at this point
would just be one more redundant operation that we could do without.
Or, without doing without it,
as, when our betters taking it upon themselves to call us up to their desks,
make lasting excuses for.
To which the houses we erect can advance.


The country I am going to
will have grass over here that is as tall as I can tell you about.
It will have lightweight clouds
so light that you’ll be embarrassed to compare them with your own.
And it will have a place for the boogyman to hide
so swept out of the way that when I reveal it to you
you’ll wonder about all of the stories you told me when I was young
that were always turning out to be true.
And yet at the same time, I have to tell you,
please note: the country that I am going to will be the country that you are going to.
It will be the country where the roads go one way and then they go the other,
where the alphabets are always tied to little balls of string,
where the sky doesn’t falter for wasting the benefits
you found drugged. 
And dragged through the chorus of my heart.

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