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.