Friday, December 27, 2013

Rawlinson Suspended at Behistun

"'Et j'ai nourri des dieux imbeciles!' .... 'je n'irai pas / jusqu'au lointain.'"

(for my old neighbor, Greg from the Ledge)

I hang suspended above my next step.
I've had one valid insight in my life:
Forgive yourself whatever you do next.
It was not a useful kind of insight.

Just look at the text of that inscription
Cut into the cliff in three languages
Daring you: "Crawl up the wall of fiction,
With which I, Darius, have harangued these

Centuries that couldn't read more than one
Version of my worldwide mastery,
Ended, with me, near as soon as begun!"
Words cry, "Life, you bastard, how dastardly!"

Or something of the sort, the shepherds guess.
Who can say what it means to hack at rocks?
(Or to have slaves to do so? We digress.
Any creature ever wrote also talked.)

Anyway, as I was saying, just now,
My own little nothing of breath suspends
Itself between one step and the next. How
Can I totter safely, who hates to end?

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