Hard to begin when you know
you'll have to end something
that has no ending.
Now I write the date on the page,
and it seems to begin. The ending?
That's when everybody laughs.
Or maybe it, too, is the date.
Once (a good beginning) on a windy night
I walked, knowing: This is me,
and now is now bursting from me
as song needing no reason,
I the fountainhead of reasons and feelings.
The story could end there.
Some illusion (of being a teenager
with acne and uncombable hair) ended.
I go home, Mom nags ("Don't you have
homework?"); I'm so high, it doesn't
reach me.Next day I try to tell someone,
who doesn't get it.
Later I make an effort to be funny,
then wonder if a clown could really have known
what I'd seemed to know the night before
and that night I masturbate, wondering
what good is it to know something
that doesn't need to be any good
to be what it is.
The story could end there,
but doesn't (who says?I say.
I'm the one who never ends.)
The story doesn't just go on;
it branches into simultaneous versions:
Trying to find it again in a woman,
losing it (or separating it
from what it is not) and finding it and
losing it (Boy meets God, Boy
loses God, God finds God) and
finding it (He loves me, I
love me not) and so forth
(unless we end it somewhere)...
Or there is no finding and losing
because the story never began,
just an adolescent delusion of grandeur;
now we know better, endure, earn your
keep, that's the whole ball of wax.
It could end there. (NO! NO!)
It could, you know.
A few days ago, for example, I
(much older) again walking, stumbled
into my old vision or its ghost,
then said it in a poem so that others
will maybe see it too (it belongs
to all of us, to no one), which I
couldn't do when I was 17,
so you could end it there.
But the next day I was sluggish,
putting off mowing the lawn, horny,
wondering if, by continuing to be
whatever I was being, I was betraying
what I'd just begun again to seem
to know, and when I went to a poetry reading
to read my poem, someone was reading
things that kept rhyming, line by line,
whether they wanted to or not,
and the others listened soberly
(I couldn't--my language hurt too bad),
and I couldn't see anyone there
to read it to, couldn't see anyone there.
I saw them when I wrote it.
The me that wrote it could have read it.
The story could end there.
But it doesn't, because this
is the other side of that. Later,
anyway. Earlier (to recapitulate)
our hero realizes (with tears of joy
haloing each streetlight with opalescence)
that it's all OK, that all is and will be
well, that as you walk down the street,
the street spins by, and you
are the musician who makes the music
you dance to and...
Others have said it better.
The point is, what does one do with it?
Nothing, of course, the knowledge tells me--
or anything. I could call this a problem.
Since it is not a problem,
It would be impossible to solve,
which makes it an ideal problem.
That would give me something to do,
and when nothing I can do resolves it,
then I can be the problem. I can be,
for example, a poet. Solve me! I'm a poet:
The only thing worth being,
since only as a poet can I share with others
this knowing for which I have no use.
Is that all? Shall I watch the grass grow?
Are bums poets with writer's block?
Are workaholic businessmen bums with bumming blocks?
Does the end have to make sense?
This is the way a poem gets
when it should have ended long ago.
So that's how it ends:
when it's supposed to.
and how do you know when that is?
There are easier ways than my way,
which is to notice that I'm still dancing,
but the music stopped long ago.
Reader, my partner, I bump into you
where you're standing still
(having heard the music stop).
But nothing ends, except poems
and dances and other grains of sand
with infinity in them if we put it there.
I hear the music again. The pause
was just a decrescendo before recapitulation
So young poet has a...satori?
Epiphany? Enlightenment? (Everybody loves
Satori night and Samedhi morning.)
And the next day it rained (or he died
in a tragic accident or lived in an
accidental tragedy or tackled a burglar
and became a hero as once a child
daydreamed over a Hardy Boys book).
This, too, is only now (which one?).
I like "hello." It's the least ending
ending I know of. You visit home
awhile, but then you have to go
home. If you end with a beginning,
you don't have to end.
Chasing our own tails, we ass-end
and descend the spiral of time.
Eternity needs something to do
with itself. That, should you choose
to accept it, is your mission. So