Chris Edwards

(- / -)

“©” - Poem by Chris Edwards

Albeit my god-given property rights
extend no further than the offices of Lord Fogg,
dispenser of paralysis gas – who owns
everything I have to say
the way Canada owns the muskrat –
I’m nonetheless prone to purveying things,
ideas you might call them if you’d care to be polite,
without much fear of reclamation. Who’d
want them? After all, I’m an individual
invented in the likeness of a living creature –
any points of view that may afflict my features,
in so far as they are true, denote
science, doxa, reality, reason,
this is the amen. I “recognise”
the other’s voice, my habit
of hallucinating filled with the odour of roses –
yet immediately afterwards, he dives into the
it said in a form which is as affirmative,
as articulated as I have a tale to tell you about
“bubbles, muddy and scorching,”
where we wander, “a forehead of ash.”
Long after the amorous relation is allayed,
colours they will not permit, the most
manifest improprieties, viz., “that they themselves
are beasts and shall beget an hundred children,” still
permeate the view and take up postures
of interpretation in the host’s own compartment.
They spread out into all four corners of his well-
appointed complex, treating him like some
quantity, a solar myth or irrational echo
that after a moment’s anxiety over
“please, I’m on the phone,”
might imagine I’m de-fascinated, left without a missing leg
to madden myself and stand on, my POV
now that of a professor
as he weaves his way
through corridors made redundant
by his passage. Good riddance, I say
to the winds that whip about me. And if you too
should come stumbling forward, and if you too
should come tumbling by through space,
get ready, extinction is upon us.
I hope this doesn’t sound overly dramatic,
but as Menon was by Socrates, I am electrified, stunned,
shaken, or – like Kirchner’s hypnotised chook
entranced by a chalkline
here on the road to Damascus –
“done for,” perhaps twice over, by this echoing
“steady beat of drums and banana leaves
woven into arches” – and I must confess
I’m not quite sure whether to consult someone about it
or just blend into the background, which is glass
windows glowering over a brightly lit
inner well – I’d say “sanctum,” but it isn’t.
I tell myself nothing of the hesitant letters that,
filled with the heavy breathing of strangers,
arrive without name or title –
they’re like dark deeds exchanging the hands
that signed them, with such savoir faire, in a foreign
language long ago.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 4, 2012

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