Thursday, February 17, 2011

two Germans (a meditation on Kant and Herzog)

How did you feel in Königsberg?
Did the morning Baltic fog hang
then drift its tales of open journey,
its wet echoing flap of sails' mystery?
Did visions disturb your serious steps
toward wooden space for thinking?

And if the early sun broke through,
before you reached swallowing doors,
did the light ruffle your catergories
of routine digestion, starched linen?
Did that gleaming shaft halt your steps
and bring back old sighs and laughter
from days of girls and only feeling?

In the afternoon at your hard desk,
did you ever leave the odorless realms
to glance up into dust particles falling
through that wooden space of thinking?
Were those faint atoms ever hypnotizing,
until you saw beyond the window frame?

Ah...too bad you didn't have a friend
to visit you from tumbling Bavarian towns --
a friend to burst into the musty space
of migraine and folds of Faustian burden.

Had that friend come to you from wrong time,
he would have brought a banjo and a spade --
a banjo strung with absurdly chuckling strings,
a spade for pigments dug in different ground
for colors sighing onto passionate canvas.

Oh, you hear that other German speaking?

He is telling tales through a crack in being.
He critiques your critiquing, your dull pen:

"Your days are plaster on the riddle!
You think your thought is bringing truth.
But thought and life are wrestling angels...

sweating inside Russian eggs,
twisting arms and guffawing,
going all the way to dreams,
until imagination opens...

Ecstatic truth leaps into art,
while buildings always crumble."

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