- The wizard loves. The wizard is walking in
the woods in the wind. He’s blown down in the
mud. He’s cold. He’s wet. It’s raining. Then
the wizard stands again, and flies against the
wind. It hurts, and he’s open, and he’s powerful.
- I have a hole where my mouth should be, and in my
nose, two, and my eyes always have water on
them. They are the color of dirt. So is my hair.
I can easily do what I once was able to dream.
I seem to be different.
- My friends tell me I’m fortunate, but it hurts.
There are too many strangers who ridicule
me for what I seem. It’s easier if I forget them.
I want to be ecstatic sometimes. I love the
birds, and I dream. I imagine the unreal
real. I feel what imagination really is.
- He’s a tree, without reason. He just grows.
More sour apples than can be eaten hang to drop.
He moves a little in the wind. He sees the birds
and knows. They alight on him. Someday he’ll
make shadows, and then he’ll laugh, but the
future breathes tomorrow for only a day.
- The man drives his truck up to the vending
machines every day at the same time, and opens
the doors. He easily fills the machines with
candy. He’s a real nice guy. He cheerfully
asks anyone how things are going.
You really have to try a grin, and buy a
candy bar for that man. He has an orange
face, but nobody notices.
- There’s other laughter besides the laughter of joy. There’s
the joke, the insane laughter, and the ridiculous.
- We pass a gang of boys on the street curb.
They’re laughing. The people who once tried but
have given up are laughing. They don’t care
anymore. They’ve twisted themselves inside
their stony selves. Their pain tickles, finally.
- We pass an apple tree. It’s silent. We
laugh at all the people laughing at it.
- He tries to grow, and he’s not ashamed, but just
can’t explain. If he could, then he wouldn’t be
the same. No one would laugh.
- The city is the stony hell inside. He is not
of the city. He can’t explain. He tries to show
he’s not deformed. He’s not deformed.
- It all comes back when two young girls start
giggling as he walks by them. Together, they
think he’s outrageous, and they’re brave
enough to laugh. They ask him questions, and
laugh at not matter what he says. He walks on. He
looks back once. They break out laughing again.
He doesn’t look back again.
He’ll always remember them letting the whirlwind
laugh out their mouths, and one saying things
strong and vicious. He remembers what she
said. He doesn’t want to remember. He just
won’t walk downtown again. It’s easier when
it’s all forgotten.
- I never could before. I couldn’t even try. I couldn’t
try to move past the wet thickness of that shadow.
It hid something from myself,
something human, something as real as hope that’s
been run nearly dead into walls I built around
myself, and that can never be severed from me.
The realization makes a pain that gapes a hole in
my heart. Sometimes I can only cry.
- I couldn’t say it. Then I was only joking,
using the situation to remind you of my need.
I hoped I’d see you again, but not only to
convince myself that imagination changes things.
It’s not my imagination that stops me. It’s not
my imagination that makes the need. I hoped I’d
see you again, but not for the excuse I think
you expect, not for the joke, and not because
I have nowhere else to go. I hoped I’d see you
because I’ve come to expect a smile from you.
It’s not just the smile, and not just that you
have long hair, that you’re beautiful. I need
what’s on your side of me, because I love you.
- I hoped to show I have the strength to open
excited and free to love everyone with you.
- It’s raining.
- The spirit of the world and the spirit of our bodies
- The old miner, the guardian of the first
threshold, grins his thick lips over brown
tobacco teeth. He nods to the back of the boy
entering the deeper cave.
- The stone has become a spirit, from which
was born a bird, arrayed in various colors, and
being made white, it’s flying in his hand.
- O Thrice Great Hermes! you KNEW the
mystery of his gift, which, once dreamed,
imagination can make real to hold, to hold from
soul to soul. The miner is the master of this
mystery. The imagination can make the stone
round. The mystery is with me.
- The poet sits in his room, the room he sleeps
in. He has music to listen to, and a small
light to make a warm place in the darkness.
The poet follows himself going into places
he’s never dreamed before. He goes through
those feelings to words, and he makes the words
to love, and he has a hand that writes it down.
- He is alone. There is a strength in his
solitude, a strength that must be there to tell
him he’s really not alone, no— never.
There’s a happiness in this communion.
- The poet can fly; the poet can cry.
- In the city, he wanders about the zoo. He stops
to look for the gnu.
- “Here’s the gnu,” a father says. The father
points into the enclosure and says, “The White
Gnu,” even though the sign he saw said
clearly THE WHITE BEARDED GNU. “The White
Gnu,” he says again and walks away.
- His young daughter, to whom these words
were turned, pauses behind him, looking into
the enclosure for the gnu that wasn’t there.
- Many big seagulls rest in the enclosure.
At once, they fill the air, and fly out towards
the ocean into the wind. The sun drops their
moving shadows on the zoo. Their sudden
noisy flapping hovers. Sounds of laughter
hang happiness in the wind. Everyone thinks
it’s the birds.
30 April 1971