Yearn to pull all of the furniture
Out of the basement and into the yard.
That includes the crazy quilt,
The space heater, the deep, unmarred
Writing desk, and the classical stereo
System. Everything, everything must
Be seen, this is good, this is true.
You’ll see new things, you’ll see the rust,
Under the tree, it will look raw--
“In the dim light, with the Bob Marley
Wall hanging, we rejoiced, we danced,
We drank to the tunes of Big Jim Farley,
We wandered out to the lawn and thought:
The stars are more clear to us than they
Have ever been for anyone.” But it was
Only marijuana, a spray
Of loneliness or breathless hope,
And here are our things, displayed on the grass.
Empty jars won’t be venerated
Forever, come up and I will pass
Some coffee in a demitasse.
Life sometimes happens so confusing, so quickly,
A pounding on the door at two in the morning,
And the smile on your face is helpful but sickly,
You’re flushed with love or ambition, they wrote
You’ll appear in March on America’s Got Talent,
You come home from a workshop, your mind is blown,
You melt inside, you swear you’ll be gallant,
But—the flame, the melting wax,
Is not the warmth that seeps across
The room, and Jurassic Park is not
The majesty of the rhinoceros.
And the goal of a distant star, of a green
Curtain, a silent room, a breezy
Night, pine trees, a bird that wakens
At the wrong time, returns to an easy
Sleep, does not contradict the grid
Of clarity, of rules, routine,
The net in the sea, we will never even
Lose the pleasure of our weakest scene,
Our clapping and our swaying, the heaven
Of our weak emotions—because, after all,
We are caught inside our flesh, champagne
Makes us think and lean against the wall.
That’s no reason not to arrange
The field in a geometric shape
And hang the stillest bells in the garden,
And the golden ratio on the seascape,
Only where the path is true,
The chambers of the heart are vast,
And the soul pervades the air, its light
Is rich, its thoughts are clear and fast,
And it wears a crown that cannot be seen,
Without all those natterings of the flesh,
(Until the flesh itself becomes the soul,
And freedom no different than the mesh).
Yaacov David Shulman