Sunday 1 April 2018

The Want - a glosa based on Rilke's poem

I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be

“I am too alone in the world,” Rainer Maria Rilke

To unfold a letter you take two fingers
two thumbs and open the page
straighten it out to find its secret
symbols you have learned to read
the soul’s cravings turning inward
then onto the shining page you hold
pressing it down and wide
undoing the creases carefully
saying in your tense oval mould
I want to unfold.

As the letter needs to be open
to be understood so I must risk
that openness. Must imposing itself
like a scolding woman, the goddess
chained to a rock tireless but trapped
her tongue hung out in a capitalist lair
and I learned how to silence her cries
silencing my own in games of thrones
determined to open new wounds everywhere
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere.

I want to escape the ritual killing
to be a vegan spirit and yet inside there
a drive to unpack and peel back all secrets
coursing through those ancient veins
cruel vivisection, cut and open, examine
my tribe’s howling animal cry
and not be content with shallow abstracts
like peace and justice but a deepening quest
for the menacing how, what, where and why
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.

Almost broken into the drunken nice
the easy to digest pervasive pablum
the democratic flag, the smiley, the clever
digging down to the day we chained nature
to the mind trending new memories yet missing
the whole point of our glorious anthropology
and missing the reason for the search, turning
away from the evidence accusing me
slowing the blood and heart not wanting to see
and I want my grasp of things to be.

(from Infinite Power, Ekstasis 2016. Cover image is a painting by Paul Grignon)

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