How to make sense of contrast


Poetry is an outlandish rebel
antithetical to life’s banality
too flashy to seem real
when situated among
generic acquiescence
          and yada yada yada

Poetry defies complacency
delighting with tangy

Sometimes sizzling
          a marquee on opening night
          flapper dress twirling
          knock-down drag-out

Other times tranquil
          a child blissfully asleep
          hot cocoa steaming
          fireflies buzzing in a jar

The Poet strips away
pretense, illusion
distilling life to
rudimentary truth
in tight and pithy form
          piquing beauty
          beyond propriety
to pure indulgent sense
protesting the ruse
of the American Dream
in favor of a rebel’s dream
the holler of King or Che
through sticky mesh
that binds us

Poetry is a strange peg
quizzically out of place
like true love hidden
in rubbish
or lost in war with
          limbs askew

How to see the beauty of life
          whilst saving it
how to sense a voice, a touch
          amongst the ravaged
how to find a gasp of heaven
          in all this mess

Hard to synthesize
this magnitude of contrast
this battery of opposites
          across boundaries
a heartbreaking exercise
with impossible stakes
though the Poet dies
hitting the mark
every now and then
when it comes to the
distillation of
          in particular