on a white couch

white_couch_poem

 

Poetry doesn’t prove a thing.
It disproves the authenticity of language,
the permanence of meaning and the
universality of reason. Suddenly,

I thought, on the couch, while
reading a history of Christianity. Christ!
what if that’s true. Dispensing order
the poet returns to a formulation
of disorder, a verbal approximation to
natural chaos. I thought,

while sinking in the couch. Silly
ruminations, I often say. But not
this time. I think I was on to some-
thing. Poetry as the last human act,
a summary of lived, thought, felt
experience, an attempt to crystallize
our plight in an image of poetic flight. I

thought, while slouching and setting
the book on the table. I wondered.
Have these architectural feats of language,
these monuments to image, any
lasting foundation other than soft voice?
That’s the question,

I pondered, while breathing deeply on
the white but dirty couch. What if this
coagulation of exasperation, these
swollen metaphors of pain, are merely
dissonant echoes drifting in the void?
I hypothesized,

while heavy on the couch. That is white
and somewhat stained.

Contemporary Poetry

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