Privilege Kicks - A Meditation In Paces Near William Faulkner's Grave
'I believe that when the last ding-dong of doom has
clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging
tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even
then there will still be one more sound: that of man's
puny, inexhaustible, voice still talking! …not simply
because man alone among creatures has an inexhaustible
voice, but because man has a soul, a spirit capable of
compassion, sacrifice and endurance'
— William Faulkner - Nobel Prize Banquet Speech
A sign, green background, yellow
lettering, in a Mississippi graveyard,
The creator of
whose stories about his
people won him the Nobel
Prize, is buried twenty steps
east of this marker.'
There the happy Worm feasts.
Walk as many paces as you want and you arrive at this:
Here lies the 'Ding Dong of Doom.'
Not puny at all, such is the voice of man.
Red and dying, post-coital.
One reaches for the dawn even at sunset, strikes a match.
Dispatches left over tension in first exhalations.
Confront the Bear.
Human underwear, male/female, sad, drapes a chair beside
a bed, a bookshelf near.
A sign unseen except on a cigarette pack says:
WARNING: The Surgeon General has determined that
paces, any paces, forward, aft, left, right, cannot
defeat what is hoped for in the contents of this
package which allude to 1) satiation 2) compassion
3) sacrifice [which means 'to make sacred']
4) endurance [a man's hope, a woman's genius].
Should one or none of these arrive return then
to a cemetery gate. Note that just beyond the
entrance is a garbage can. Ponder. Possibly say
(infinite possibility) aloud; possibly, even,
make another marker, saying:
'Death is a deed.
Death is a clean sorrow.
It is natural to weep -
Even a waste basket in a cemetery.'
Look out for the Bear,
any Bear of any kind.
Turn toward it. Invite it:
'Given the choice between the
experience of pain and nothing,
I would choose pain.' - Faulkner
With as many paces as is necessary (be generous)
take a vote at each headstone, plot, marker, monument,
sunken soil indicating human remains. What would they
choose, 'nothing or pain? '
What would you?
Ignore signs no matter how
useless underwear, male/female,
in a grave
Know that for both 'wear'
(forget 'where' which is
or will be obvious) and
'grave, ' the word 'under'
is the operative one.
And yours is the only voice now,
What is concealed beneath matters most,
then the ongoing translation for what
continues to measure paces, what may even
be spoils of the living, either way either
or each indicates there is life after all.
Gather, shall we, by
a pacing river, beauteous,
shining in its endurance,
singing of endurance
which may arrive strangely
'A mule will labor ten years
willingly and patiently for you,
for the privilege of kicking you
once.' - Faulkner
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Comments about this poem (Privilege Kicks - A Meditation In Paces Near William Faulkner's Grave by Warren Falcon )
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