O lente, lente, currite noctis equi—
Yes, that’s what I want right now,
Just that sensation
Of my mind’s gradual
Deceleration, as if I
Took my foot off the gas
And the Buick rolled to a stop.
Flutter on the tree trunks
At the wood’s edge where I spred
Slower, slower, you spinning spokes, you hot
Rubber. Hold your horses, easy there –
Every one of you missiles rushing
Through my neural nets, you eithgteen-wheelers
On the brain’s interstate highways, you sharp
Dealers on the trading floor of rhetorics,
Hush now, slide over
Let somebody else speak for a change!
Let’s try to listen to the announcements
Of the inner mind
And its committee of guides.
They require silence,
They demand respect, like teachers
In a rowdy classroom – the kids
Are in the cloakroom throwing galoshes
But the teacher wants to introduce
A visitor, a foreign child who waits
With downcast eyes, lashes like brown feathers
On his flushed silk cheeks.
What does my inner mind have on its mind?
Hush. Slower. If I say, I’ll use this solitude
To discover my true feeling about my mastectomy,
To do the mourning I’ve been postponing,
Or if I think, I’ll surrender myself
To the adoration I feel for X,
Which I prudently control when he’s nearby,
Then that’s not it!
Whatever I can consciously intend,
By definition isn’t it.
Hush. Quiet the mind.
The Tao that can be spoken
Is not the true Tao.
Perhaps I must surrender
The need to write. “To metabolize experience
Into poems.” Dear friends,
Presences, do you think that’s impossible?
Do you think it is desirable?
I’m not going to decide this by myself.
What I want
Is to listen, what I want
Is to follow instructions.