Part I: Why I Write
a. Young lust

True poetry can be found on this earth.
I lusted for her once.
She . . .
had eyes, deep and dark,
as the space between stars,
as the eternity ‘tween thoughts.

She . . .
was wild and of the earth.
Feral and magical, she hummed with the ground.
Poetry beaded off her skin, tellurian:
like the dusky dawn chanting of Shamans.

A pure tincture of poetry and passion charged
through her veins,
illuminating her skin.

She saw visions
and through her
I did as well . . .

This is not why I write.

b. Then and Now

Meaning was wrung from life
and left to dry on the rack.
The juice of poetry dribbled
chins and only the pit remained.
I did not stop to enjoy the fruit.
So heady was the Quest for Truth and Beauty
that I took to interrogating her with harsh light and demanding tones.
Her wondering moans of pity and fear still haunt me in the darker
tender times of night.

I am of a softer disposition.
Beauty must be encountered like a deer in the field,
taken for the wonder it is
and stalked delicately for every additional moment
one has in its company.
Truth must be recognized in the crowd,
like a long lost friend one has not met before.

c. Command

Poetry must not be written
not be created.
Breathe poetry. Drink poetry.
love poetry. FUCK poetry.
Worship poetry, then whisper sublime wonders in her ear.
Smoke a cigarette with poetry in bed.
Warm yourself with hot chocolate and poetry.
Run to poetry’s house in the rain.
Scream and don’t stop screaming til she comes out.
Kiss poetry with the kisses of your mouth.
Promise poetry you’ll never leave her.
Love poetry.

Part II: Why I Fight
a. Preamble

I’ve been writing ever since I could remember.
In fact
my life can only be proven through creation.
By all accounts
my life began when I put words on paper
into the souls of the world.

To live well,
what one creates must be beauty.

I stand here
knowing my life is no longer mine alone.


b. Reminisces

Once she kissed me and her lips felt like the shed scales of a snake.
I wanted to draw back in fear
in revulsion
but I dove deeper hoping to make soft whatever appeared rough.
To find beauty hidden among the discarded skins and lies.
Her eyes were like the soft mud of the earth
as was her hair, and her beauty was something I created.
I did not want her for her body.

c. Present Time

One day I will look back on my time here,
and I will see only words,
echoing in the hearts
of friends and former lovers.
Each one chosen carefully to
elevate the potential inherent in mundanity.
Poetry is raising the sparks.

d. Reminisces II.

Once -
Her back up against the glass of a bus stop -
I -
her nose with a single blemish and our bodies pressed together
at awkward positions -
told -
even while in embrace, my mouth moved against hers
with its own purposes
her -
all my eyes could see were her, her face, her lips, her eyes,
the poetry beneath the vision of her skin, the faint hum of her breath
that –
every inch of her was beautiful.

For a while
we both believed it.
We used to listen for each others’ heartbeats, gasping like fish out of their bowls.

I did not want her for her heart.

e. The Mission

I walk with my neck at odd angles.
I listen for the poetry of the world.
It is found in disparate places:

the squawking of geese
the insistence of car horns
the percolating pot of coffee
the bird calls of early morning
or late afternoon
the last school bell
the music of Spanish Harlem
the beat box on the street
the lilting dialogue of Black women.

I search frantically, wildly, desperate for beauty.
Smells are beautiful. Touch is beautiful.
She tasted beautiful; the poetry I found in her was of lilacs and vanilla,
brown sugar and cinnamon, jasmine and chamomile.

I did not come here for pleasant faces and witty exchange,
for the haughty aloofness of youth in art.
I do not care for your hearts or your minds,
your opinions, your politics, your affectations!
(“The opposite of love isn’t hate; it is indifference”)
But I did not come for your love,
I came for your souls!

I came for your soul.

The Philolexian Society
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