Saturday, June 07, 2008

Looking Behind: A Saturday Poem











Looking Behind

I

Especially on quiet, satiated evenings it will happen.
Walking down the street I will suddenly stop
And turn toward a sense of myself approaching me.
Not of being followed or stalked, but quite the opposite.
The impossibility of pursuit. As though I alone exist
And my steady apparition.

II

Some say this is evidence of a deep disconnect.
Others, of over-connection. Various studies conclude
I exhibit the first sign of lunacy. Bollocks to them all!
Researchers will never understand until they do it.
The looking behind thing.
But they won’t.

III

For the record, my premonition has never proven false.
Believe me, I am quite wary of acquiring
An obsession with emptiness.
Just know that if you laugh I may join you,
Smiling. For I am never looking behind
Seeing nothing.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

4 comments:

Beth said...

Fascinating - and has made me think. (Which all good poetry should do.)
I'm glad there is always something there when you look behind, when you turn toward that sense of yourself.
Lunacy? Not at all.

cipriano said...

Ahh, thank you, Beth.

Merisi said...

You make me smile! :-)

I can't help but think of Billy Collins, he who tends to see someone in front him, as he describes in this poem:

I Go Back To The House For A Book

I turn around on the gravel
and go back to the house for a book,
something to read at the doctor's office,
and while I am inside, running the finger
of inquisition along a shelf,
another me that did not bother
to go back to the house for a book
heads out on his own,
rolls down the driveway,
and swings left toward town,
a ghost in his ghost car,
another knot in the string of time,
a good three minutes ahead of me —
a spacing that will now continue
for the rest of my life.

Sometimes I think I see him
a few people in front of me on a line
or getting up from a table
to leave the restaurant just before I do,
slipping into his coat on the way out the door.
But there is no catching him,
no way to slow him down
and put us back in synch,
unless one day he decides to go back
to the house for something,
but I cannot imagine
for the life of me what that might be.

He is out there always before me,
blazing my trail, invisible scout,
hound that pulls me along,
shade I am doomed to follow,
my perfect double,
only bumped an inch into the future,
and not nearly as well-versed as I
in the love poems of Ovid —
I who went back to the house
that fateful winter morning and got the book.

cipriano said...

Billy Collins.
Yes, Merisi, Billy Collins really liberated my inner poet!
Seriously, reading Collins made me realize that everything is a poem. He is a wonder.
When I grow up I want to write like him.