On a street covered with land mines
barely concealed by ironic gestures
and grandiose imaginings
of smoothly muscled lovers
and heavily bosomed angels
we walk blindfolded.
We hope the next step
will blow us back to a time
when words were impotent
used to hide what we found
at the end of a fist
the heel of a boot
the last touch of flesh
between a pair of lips
when eyes open and you return
to the too dark living room in your mother’s house.
Still embarrassed by our earnestness
we gave up our virginity,
but not our innocence
and hoped that the heat of our restless,
stupid bodies would burn like the eyes
of a blinded soldier in the Ardennes
who doesn’t tell his story for fear
of transmitting his madness and disillusionment.
His truth and words, a portrait of rage and resentment
ugly men use to inflame his children
by obscuring their father’s true enemies.
Better to seek the void and be swallowed whole.
God’s promise is an end to pain’s digressions.
In the mouths of false men
words are a despicable means
to a worthless end.
In a life during wartime
silence is the only place
to find the beauty of reality.
Artist Credit: Maibaum by Kristi Malakoff, 2009 photographed National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
I wanted to pair my poem Life During Wartime, from my same titled poem series, because of the unique juxtaposition the imagery of the poem and the silhouette sculpture. The idea of maintaining innocence and joy in the face of stupidity, atrocity, and avarice is a continual struggle for us all. It is the remembrance of times past and vision for utopian possibility that raises us up from the depths of an all to easy despair.
Share and comment. I’d love to talk about the possibilities of utopian art.