Thursday, September 18, 2008

From A Book of Poems

A Book of Poems

I opened up a book of poems
Reading just a couple lines
Then sat it down

Some of the strangest things are happening around here. It must be the full moon or something. First of all, during the ‘sweep and clear’, search and destroy operation this morning against seventy-three of the seventy-five flies in my place,* I witnessed something I’d never seen before – three flies ‘getting it on’, a threesome, on the edge of the blade of my ceiling fan, like a train.

You ever seen that? So, I guess humans aren’t the only ones. Wow. I killed them all with one backhand rim shot.

The other thing was while stretched out on my yoga mat, I looked over and saw a mouse just sitting there, shivering. I took a quick glance around to make sure nobody would hear me talking to a mouse, then asked it, “What the hell’s up with you?”

He just sat there on his haunches, saying nothing, just shivering, so I scooped him up in a cardboard box and freed him outside. Then later in the afternoon, there he was, still there, running around in circles.

I thought maybe he was delirious from setting off that trap, and how did the irresistible bait, peanut butter on a saltine, end up ten feet away? None of it made any sense at all.

Then, Jack Red Cloud and Juan Mesteth stopped by to cut firewood for sweat lodge, and Juan said, “It’s probably blind. Yeah, he’s blind,” he said assuredly.

“Yyyeah,” I said. “I’ve heard of blind mice before.”

“Look,” said Juan. “Even when you touch him…see? See how he reacts?”

He didn’t run when you put your finger close to him, and would flinch only when you touched him, like…like…like a blind person being threatened by something they couldn’t see.

Juan trapped the mouse in a large translucent orange 500mg prescription bottle and showed him to me. “See? One of his eyes is gone. And he can’t see out of the other one.”

I wondered if he’d lost his eye and sight from the encounter with the trap. And if so, then how did he escape? It’s still a mystery to me. One of those ‘life’s mysteries’…a blind mouse running around in circles.

Trip Wire

Immediately after
That brilliant beautiful
Blinding flash of light

A world suddenly black
Eyes of shrapnel
Face disfigured by the blast
Black pepper powder embedded
Flesh ripped red and revealed

The perfection of a prose
So eloquent and unrestrained
Please help me.

What strange weave of circumstance
Would turn him left
Instead of right

What lovely geometric symmetry
Intersecting fate and chance
Turning pages into chapters
Nothing written
Nothing blank

From a distance, the same event was described quite differently by the observer, skewing the data, omitting particulars, obscuring the realities, distorting the evidence. In fact, everyone who witnessed it, participated in it, saw it differently, each saying the other had missed the mark.

‘That’s not what happened. That’s not what I saw,’ they all said.

- end


* In the traditions of the people, I held one captive, adopting it as a member of the family, and allowed one to escape. ‘Tell the others what happened here,” I told it.