Friday, September 25, 2009

But is it a poem?

The Noftsger Hill Inn, 2009

Let this keep you company during the next two Sundays.

Never Look Down

You are somewhere on the silk, between the spider and the web. Taken away, up high, on a slow moving gondola, suspended, with only a slight provocation of thought. Drifting down a cool shallow river, feet first, looking straight up at the partly cloudy sky, moss tickling the backs of your thighs. The irresistible urge to touch a cholla, just to see if it will really jump, takes you over, and you watch the tiny droplets of blood pool up on your finger. There is no pain. All else moves past you at an incomprehensible pace, the day pressed down a bit and smeared with a thumb. Just left of center a viewfinder floats and you move as close to it as you can and look inside, your right eye opened wide and your left eye squinting tightly shut. There you are, on the bus. You back up, a little light headed, and inhale a tennis ball shaped gulp of air, tiny stars appearing and disappearing in front of you. Swallow your disbelief. Continue slowly and enter through the center of the web. Don’t pause to think. Don’t look down. Never look down. Move swiftly, surely, and don’t doubt yourself. Not too fast. I’ll wait for you. We knew each other a long time ago, but not so far back. I’m afraid you don’t remember. Keep walking. Rest on the bench that is not your size, allow your feet to dangle. Look out across the large dry meadow, straw-colored because of the drought. There is just one tree, bright green leaves. How, in this drought? You are suddenly small, shrunken, the size of a bean. You are beneath the tree, on a long pier, kicking water in the tiny lake with your toes. Now you know. Don’t try to explain.


  1. I'm...lazily confused by the words... They've got me mesmerized, the way perhaps sometimes bugs can end up tangled up in a spider's web... I loved reading this. It's prose, but in the tricky language of poems. I think. Hmmm... I do not know what it means in the end, other than the dream-like way in which thoughts circle inside our heads.... But I'm not sure. I do know I enjoyed reading it, so thank you.

  2. Dear Maria,

    I truly appreciate you sharing your honest read on this piece. It's one of my favorites, yet quite difficult to define. It combines so many things for me--past, present, places I've been that I've bent in an Alice in Wonderland sort of fashion, a painting I adore, my thoughts on spiders, webs, tightropes, poetry, photography, family, and pure imagination.

    I'm happy to know you enjoyed reading it.