Monday, April 04, 2016

Seeing and Re-Seeing

Seeing and Re-Seeing

This city aches to be rolled past.
And so I do it. Roll past and through it,
Insinuate myself. I become a sinew
Of the city, a flexing tendon. My gaze dollies
Smoother than any image making machine.
My strafe-eye can hold
An instant or know a happening
With a ghost’s transit:
Moving through, uninvolved,
A moment’s insider, then gone.

The pavement is conveyor
To my hungry watch, bringing me
Seeings, seeables, sights, doings
Of many manner, shape, and drift;
Too many for any finite lister.

I am such a one, compiler of lists
That brim but are never quite full -
All jotted down in thought, but
Nonetheless set down for being inkless.

Housed in head, the listed seen can
Dabble in volition, rattling their cages,
Not to be set free but to be remembered -
Re-experienced in the cinemas of Sleep or Consideration.

One scene returns more than others
To the roadside that glides past closed lids
Unbidden at night, and sometimes, unchosen,
(When the couplings loosen between thoughts)
By day, a flickering matinee screening:

Two crows were pecking at something
Shouldering each other to peck the better,
Vying for food, it looked like, but traffic
Had my glances too, I am ever the divided
                    A bit of bread? But they were cawing
Loud and frantic, hopping, barging, as a tuft
Slid from between them and my gaze, revealing
Their quarry – it was no snack…
But a fellow crow, facedown in harried stiffness.
Hunched wings half splayed like a black angel
Unresponsive in the dust.
This beaked anger and death cooled the sweat
On my face. I shivered, new-sure of the scene
And looked on, waiting at a red light.

But the next peck had a tenderness,
Is this regret? Or are they trying to revive?
Now a beak was slowly lifting this lost life,
Only to let it drop back down, hopeless, very dead.
Already a ruffled effigy, soulless and stiff.

So my first guess had dissolved. It was not anger
But mourning, panicked and desperate.
With screams and shakes to wake a dead friend.
But the light went green and I was gone.

I settled on this sense of the scene in departure,
But these winged deeds remain foreign
To my wheeled pinioning, my cycles
Of thought. I must remain featherless and
They will never ride a bicycle, never
Stop or go at the behest of a traffic light.
This difference only enhances the power
Of this extended glimpse to replay in me.

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