A Poem Insisting to be Written

This is a difficult poem that insists itself
to be written. You think of the manner
of calisthenic attack as you walk in circles,

one at a time, with another reluctant
poet who thinks about his private God
in the syllables of sin. I do not, of course,

believe in the mortality of words
nor in the finiteness of verses
and so I say, these are all the same:

the poet in his manner of skewed
seeing of the world, the witty rebel
in his skewed seeing of the word,

the prophet in his skewed seeing
of the world worded. And so I tell him,
this reluctant poet who does not trust

paradoxes nor the back gray of light
in darkness: they are all the same,
these, the meanings playing a pun

on language, seeing how the eye
sees itself with all these ruses,
one tricky phrase at a time

until the whole thing becomes
a stanza of our grief. Poets are lonely
people, I offer, saying this to him

to console even as I say the same thing
to myself. But they are most happy,
too, in their loneliness. We walk

another round in one inner circle
of our courage or creative rage
or whatever that you call

these feelings we have against
all that oppresses like verses
unable to identify themselves

if they are stanzas of pretense.
It is night, it is the Wednesday
with no sense, the flood lights

bathing our evening steps
to make the first move
and another first move

to think about what we want
whether to write a first poem
or resist writing one while all along

we have known the poetry of injustice
in this land where we have our
dreams deferred, dispersed.

A Solver Agcaoili
Manoa/Oct 28, 2009

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