Friday, 15 October 2010

John Brandi (5/11/43) -OUR GEOGRAPHY IS HEARTBEAT.

We all hold
to some territory.
The merchant
makes his salad with money.
A seamstress begins
at the fine-line stitch of time.
The astronaut remembers
the Red Sea
with the ultra-violet eye
of the bee.
The director cuts apart
geography on his human meatboard.
The poet begins
inside his mother
riding an iconclast raft
with villages and trees
igniting themselves
along the edge
of th sea.

We all begin
as mirrors, naked
with bodies once solar
begetting form.
The priest wears a robe.
The judge wears a robe.
The scholar graduates in a robe.
All remember the alphabet
All connect the swan
with a proverb or a symbol
Or regard the stars
with possibilities.
And look to the craftsman
for a sewing bobbin
or a shoelace.

We all hold
to some territory.
The evangelist eats out
on donations sent to convert
pagans. The orphan rides
a subway into black paradise, free.
The dragonfly holds 10,000
worlds in its fine topaz blink.
And the fortune-teller
looks through amber
to discover the face of
an assasin.

We all sit down
and rise inside a dream,
asking questions
about our situation, scratching
parts of the body
at intersections, perplexed
with changing signals
& semaphores
that announce no train.
We all have
ridden a tractor or
a subway, arranged our hair
in an automobile,
or opened a briefcase
in an airplane.

Our geography
is heartbeat, and a second
hand swings through
the flesh, like a road
pretending no end
while outside the self
lives another one
of us, who conducts the world
with a spiral wand
and carries into us
the charts and maps, the earth
and particles of air that
combine to breed water,
fire, hate, love
passing storms and gates
that can be locked
or unlocked, forever
among us all.

FROM :- Heartbeat Geography, Selected and Uncollected poems, White Pine, 1995.

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