Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Non-sense



author’s note:

For poetry so deeply quiet that it makes this reader deeply quiet, find Selected Poems by Wang Wei, translated by David Hinton


PERFECTION THRESHOLD

I have not yet
experienced
perfection
today.

I have yet
to stop
but when I stop
if I really stop
and look
and listen
I know I will
witness perfection--
no matter
what when where--
there will be
perfection: in everything
I see hear feel--

and when I stop
if I stop
until I stop
looking stop listening,
I will experience
a sense of perfection
that goes beyond the senses,
beyond sensation--

and if I keep it going
it goes to where it seems
downright nonsensical.

And so
you’d think
I would stop
and stop
all day long--

yet I don’t
though I enjoy
what I get
when I do
stop.

I enjoy, yet
I seem to have
a threshold:
for some reason,
I can only stand
to realize
so much perfection
at a time.

But if I know
perfection
occurs all around me
every moment,
if I know
I am part
of that perfection--

why does stopping
actually seem
to frighten me

--?--

especially when I go
all the way
to nonsensical

--?--

Perhaps I fear a quiet
that feels like a type
of death--what if
I stay there--?--I might become
someone--something--
else entirely--I just don’t
quite feel ready
to give up
so much--

though the idea
does appeal to me
sometimes...

but to lose myself...

that’s a big commitment.

Ego’s designed to hold on.

In any case,
when I try to
continue
        instead of
stopping...

or when I try to
stop
        instead of
continuing...

I know that the fear I feel
--this conflict--
is just perfect.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
new steps
earnest audio

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