POEM WITHOUT SYMBOLS
I see a body ahead of me
though my sight is bent
so the body is not really there.
The body pulls this spherical
into this flatness and here I am
astonished, treading on a world where
I’m not supposed to notice I’m alive.
The visible horizon here baffles me
as much as not knowing why I think,
so I know nothing and live the opposite.
The warmth I feel should not be wasted
on this short run, so let’s set up
the dieties’ statues and temples
to love, food, pleasure, song,
and mere feeling that moves
through blindness like a worm through earth
and act with justice and kindness
before our clothes and air tighten
and destroy me along with all others here
who never let us know that they were thinking,
or by animals and catastrophes that
don’t think at all and come for us in the dark.
It’s hard to conclude it’s worth it or it’s not
when all we seem to know is there is thought
and light that warms this garden
walled against space and time.
Lawrence Bridges is best known for work in the film and literary world. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick. He lives in Los Angeles, California.