Monday, June 9, 2014

From the Verse Essays of Ivar Benløs: Even So

The burdens of our failures
Make us think ourselves greater,
Make us more, not less likely
To emphasize our triumphs
Or our imagined triumphs
Or the triumphs of our side,
Even though we are diamonds

Compressed into existence
And fractured by time, our times
Turning each side carefully,
Loupe screwed to life's gimlet eye,
Finding out and chipping
Our glints from proud flaws' facets.
Look at me, rock in the tree,

Squeezed by these roots around me.
The crystalline, cracked essence
Of me now's whatever's drawn
Haplessly into the crown
Where green viper voices sway
In the hissing of the leaves,
Respiring as oxygen

Out of their carbon rings
Whatever, deep in the ground
Of me, used to be me, used
To be adamantine, calm,
And under the delusion
Of having escaped living.
They, we, are, I am, bared fire.

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