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May 2020
“Stop this day and night with me
and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun,
(there are millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things
at second or third hand,
nor look through the eyes of the dead,
nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either,
nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides
and filter them from your self.”

Song of Myself (1892 version) by WALT WHITMAN


*These admonitions are the ten conditionals
commandments of straight talk,
you’ve spent a life lessening and lesson-learning
and all laid before you for taking, gaining,
but for what? for naught?

Start this day, having spent my night with you,
possessing less than what is my now
my unfinished commencement,
provisioned, a simultaneous beginning and finishing,
emptying a void of
fulfilling questioning.

What does this life desire of me,
that it granted and then removed,
the knowledge of perfection?
leaving me striving, writhing,
shivering unceasingly,
in my saddened, bursting, hacking
and hackneyed chest.

I walk the same cobblestone streets,
observing the descendants of your ancestral tugs
portaging, paying homage to East River tides,
carrying those goods,
the origins of all poems,
from where? to where?
but always past our conjoined eyes.

And yet do I look, with our merged eyes,
filtered by a century’s discoloration,
forgive me Walt, for now recalling sights
that you first observed,
that I witness first hand,
100 and fifty years later,
sharing a stolen wisdom with you.

Todays new millionth sunrise bids me stand,
observe the river traffic from my kitchen window,
accept that my takings are debts,
a few, even paid back,
yet, most still owed,
for the origins of all my poems,
are oddly and oddity old,
unoriginal, second, third handed
as I look through the eyes of the dead,
and yours too,
this my unoriginal,
original sin....
(pretending  I am a poet)


Manhattan Island,
By the East River
Thu. May 14, 2020
Written by
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