Self Indulgent Questions For Hafiz Which Generally Betray My State of Unenlightenment

May 22, 2012

explain the internet, why are there snuff films and rush Limbaugh?
what is the Love Contest?  where is the perfect dress we are all searching for?
what use is a tree that wants to be a chair?

Hafiz, your instructions were incomplete: how do I open myself
to love?

I know that after all these years the sun never once said you owe me, but did the earth
ever feel like a freeloading asshole.
did the caterpillar apologize for eating all those leaves.

If we are all atoms that have at one point belonged to anyone else, and will be someone else soon, and as good belong to anybody, as he says,
should I be apologizing to the animals I was,
or does this closeness render apology, as a concept, absurd?

Hafiz, your instructions were incomplete: how do I open myself
to love
without being completely

I don’t know how to hit on women who work in food service or retail,
and this is only a problem
because I don’t know how not to hit on women who work in food service or retail.

What use is a poet who wants to be famous?  when I want to be attractive, god laughs and tosses out red herrings,
the bottlecap upturned and crusted with a  crown of rust—people leaving fine dining restaurants
buying five dollar coffees, and then going shopping.

Hafiz, would I be a better mystic if I did more drugs?  if I had more knowledge of chakras or acupuncture or jet engines or all the cultural appropriation I have personally committed?

why do my best clothes make me look like I just got off shift from a fine dining restaurant?
and what is effulgence?

why is it so short a time

that I can see it: a thin way in for light between the curtains
that falls on my her shoulder in the early morning,
why do I forget, and by breakfast, think I want a cinnamon bun covered in glaze
when what I really want is
to see these concentrations of light on her skin?

Hafiz, your instructions were incomplete: how do I open myself
to loving all people while they’re publicly reading Sylvia Plath,
who they introduce as a lesser known poet
and mispronounce all the German words in “Daddy”

I have questions Hafiz,
can I keep drinking? can I keep my car?  can I still be
sexy? can I sleep until noon?  can I be compassionate while someone’s beta fish
is the topic of conversation?  can I play
capitalism?  how do I learn to speak that moon language?  what is the answer to the riddle of use?

here is what distracted me when I tried to write about beauty:
a redbound book of the scribner radio music library, misplaced
in the biography section
the thought of a violin,
the permanent brown tinged inner rim of a white porcelain mug
I was going to let the whole sky out of my mouth, just as I saw it

in my rearview, behind the windshield emerging from grey
like two things at once: cotton grey pulling off orange, not coal orange and not coral
but a sunset orange at midday, the evening horizon misplaced in the air,

just as I saw it the first day it was
too warm not crank the windows down, and let in rush,
the wind like a sunflower bloom, a rhyme
with lover’s laughter, the wind, like all language is also an insinuation
“you were a beast once” it says.  And I accelerate to agree,

“Yes, yes I was once a beast.”  and all the cars on 91 grumble in chorus
“once, once you were
and the evening horizon is lost
lost in the middle of a chattering day,
lost in the rush
lost in a rambling undirected wind.


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