gordon nosworthy


Too Much Fayness And Not Enough Man - Poem by gordon nosworthy

the poet hunter unfurled the scroll
barely glancing at the message in the darkness
kill the poet he already knew the message
light glinted deeply inside the poet hunter's eyes
not that of cruelty or hideous anger
what he learned in infancy from culture's text
from the breast milk at his parent's knees
too much fayness and not enough man
that hurt him and his kind beyond measure
kill it where it moved when it moved
destroy what might otherwise spread
the viral truth was immanently contagious
kill truth before it could trigger more damage
reduce television bulletins to meaningless chatter

the poet struggled in his bindings
fatally this time he knew he would not escape
from the instant he found himself captured
felt the restraints binding him to the earth
he knew he could expect no fairness
he would dig deep for all the strength
still trapped in his body after the beating
that might be enough to withstand the onslaught
even at its heart it had a certain amount of rightness
he could not allow it to pass without some understanding
even if were only the hem of a discarded coat
he needed a poet's time to wade through the anger
the outrage and deafness and blindness

he remembered logging high up the mountain side
the wet smell of crushed wood agitated by black fly wings
the summer snow trapped at the base of remaining trees
cool against a dry mouth cold against the summer heat
he remembered running up shifting logs
insect like hauling a steel bell tail behind
he remembered burrowing deep down
into a pickup sticks of logs the size of redwood giants
dislodged the whistle shrieking down the valley
pronounced death a wordless gift of memory

the poet hunter picked up his wooden mallet
pressed the sharpened end of the square wooden stake
tight against the breast plate of the poet's chest
he tapped the mallet against the stake
he did not laugh he could not as others might have
this was serious business of some holy nature
poets could not be trusted they had ways to escape
beyond the visible and obvious
fay words and phrases helped them elude

the poet remember struggling
down long dark tunnels of 48 inch pipe
deep beneath the surface under the fraser river
weighing heavily upon rubber wheeled buggies
sloshing with wet corrosive cement
the beam of a mining lamp clamped to his helmet
carved a small white hole out of the darkness
fay the poet hunter intoned

the poet hunter tapped once again
the mallet against the stake
the sharpened point pierced flesh drew blood
the eyes of the poet did not flicker
he was what he was
he saw what he saw although most times
he had to fight to appreciate what he saw
the flames from the torch light
reflected somehow as if they had a meaning
separate from that which animated the poet hunter
the poet hunter struck the mallet against the stake
why the poet managed to gurgle aloud
as blood spurted to the corners of his mouth
because the poet hunter replied you wrote poetry

the poet remembered walking over roof trusses
three or more stories above the ground
one small misstep would transform him
into just another piece of scrap
as a linebacker he remembered the impact
of lowering his head into the chest of a fullback
he remembered raising his arms
to clothesline the back who tried to duplicate
the havoc in the havoc of the poet's intentions

the poet hunter raised his mallet
the poet struggled but words now meant nothing
the head descended with enormous force
squarely onto the point of the stake
the sharpened end broke fully through the poet's chest
why the poet breathed again with more blood
because you write poetry
no other reason the poet hunter replied absently
lifting the mallet for another blow
this time aiming for the heart below
was it the ideas that made me free
no the poem hunter replied grimly the threat

the poet remembered being a lifeguard
the water calm across the horizon
the seagulls wheeling freely
he remembered being a bouncer
standing before the entrance to the club
looking far tougher than he felt
wondering why he also enjoyed art
the creativity of it
not the money of it
not the monetariness of it

the poet hunter struck the mallet
with a grunt hard one more time
the poet now could no longer form words
blood seeped into his lungs
dribbled from his nostrils
the poet vaguely remembered being a truck driver
pushing back against sleep on long hauls
he remembered being a teacher
lost in the wonder of purveying ideas
as honestly as he could
he remembered teaching mathematics
lost in the language of numbers
he remembered filling pages with words
building scenes and dreams and illusions
from squiggles and commas and dots
in a flash he recognized their futility

one last time with mighty effort
the poem hunter struck the mallet
the poet dimly remembered the joy
the sheer beauty of breathing
of amazing images of remembering
the nourishing sense of being clothed in a personality
the poem hunter checked the poet's pulse
he found skin already growing cold
he rose to his feet and cast his tools aside
almost convinced he turned and walked away

Topic(s) of this poem: love and life


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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 25, 2016



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