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The Sacred in the Quotidian

Fall, 2005

Gene Berson

The White Truck

I call the White Truck
I call the ashes
I call the black silt on the sill,
I call the wrinkled coal-like
nuggets of black flies,
I call the screen, the smog haze
The Touch Without Knowledge
Of what is touched,
I call the sand against my fingers,
I call the woman home, I call the trees and red lights
I call the hatred, the hawks
Out of chuckholes in the asphalt, I call them to shake off
Their wet sparks and ignite my shirt which is wet
I call the mouths speaking new myths
Full of waxed paper and styrofoam cups, I call all the dead
And living confusion together into my mouth
The tires and residue, the indigestible trash
I call my voice to burn it all in purification
And I am senseless with its quivering impulse: 

I call my fingers on these keys
The mothers of my cries: I call this room to open it
I call something from nothing
I call spasms and sputtering plugs full of rage and violation,
I call this nation. How deep can the seams be in the skin?
Sometimes I feel like Frankenstein just after they sewed him 

And I stumble for simple recognition like a drunk fool full of need
Because I'm so much ignored,
I feel like a tender pool inside
I see the fear in their eyes which tells me I'm crazy
They see the skin breaking apart, they think it's leprosy
I pretend I'm a nice guy
A coward, an evader, a dreamer, a thief
I pretend I don't know what I'm doing
I touch people and won't accept what that touch tells me
I'm afraid I'll scare them and then they'll kill me
I can see everyone's got a gun in his mind
I violate them and I violate me
I say I can't possibly fight all the injustice I see and feel
I ignore my way, I'm driven to literality by hysteria, I live
In the city and don't know if washing the dishes is more important
Than writing a poem: I'm possessed
By the paralyzing fear that my gods are down: I can't see.


Copyright (c) Gene Berson, 2005. All rights reserved.
Previously appeared in print in Bastard Angel, edited by poet Harold Norse