Blood Sugar; Pledge; After Reading a Very Good Poem
More times than once I may have had a thought
As polished, sane and airy—bright with ease
As any jeweled box the poet made.
He and his others in multitudes of times
Have fashioned ecstasies no use can wear,
And, thinking, I can form them back to mind.
My doctor says my thoughts will jumble up
If there’s too little sugar in my blood.
(He may have said too much—I can’t be sure.)
I saw it happen just the other day:
My thoughts like drunken steps did not proceed
Until some balanced potion was added in.
Just sweeted blood and the right pond water
Delivers the emerald frog on the mud shore.
I promise never to speak of how heavily
my father and mother weigh on me unless
my speaking at all is already a breach.
I promise to compose in a room without mirrors
and never to use one word where none will do.
I promise not to let the idea make a puppet of the word
nor to mistake my breath for the air in the line.
I promise not to church—intone
and not to be swayed by the temptress called “Poem.”
After Reading a Very Good Poem
You don’t chew the words
though you would like to,
dismantle them each
in their soundfull order
and turn each material scrap
into your nourishment.
There arises somewhere
in your middle body
a warm tightness as if
a feast had just ended.
An exhilaration fills your breath.
Nothing so winning is possible;
perhaps like the first thought
you will have entering heaven.