Wednesday, March 27, 1996


At the Dancing Goat Café 
I suck my cappuccino down 
and write these lines.
The fan is mirrored in
the thick bottom of the glass
like an angry river with nowhere to go,
these words burst the dam.
I tell my students how I'm writing a long poem
that won't finish itself and so,
writer's block finishes my thoughts
before they take shape,
allowing no prisoners.

It's been a year and a day,
time for the enchantment end.
I've taken to find finished
finding my orphaned words
loose in coffee shops:
familiarity breeds contempt.

Someone asked how long is it?
I answer 36 pages, after Hiroshige—
he made 36 views of Mount Fuji.
There is there is an audible gasp
but they think one pages long.
We talk about the importance of poetry,
how poets are renegade philosophers.
The philosopher's camera needs no film,
no silver nitrate no, no digital chip,
no darkroom, only the prima materia of the universe
to tear down the walls that separate us
from ourselves and from each other.
The notes of malaguena rains down upon our ears
creating a scaffold for the ear
to climb to the fan circling the room.

27 March 1996
Alexander Valley School

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