Kabir Says

By Grant Clauser


Brother, I have seen some amazing things

I’ve never tasted fresh organic honey
or been to the Mall of America (a lie, I have)
or attended the live taping
of a late-night TV show (OK, another lie).
Most of the plants in my garden
are wilted or pock-marked
by slugs because I can’t spare
the beer to drown them in.


I’m afraid of roller coasters
because in 1972 five children were crushed
on the Big Dipper in Wandsworth England.


Kabir saw fish in treetops
and lions protecting cattle
from the night’s evil,
but mostly I stare at this desk
thinking of things to say.


I’ve seen the Forbidden City,
which isn’t forbidden
if you have a ticket
and I shared that moment
with 1,500 other tourists,
mostly children in school uniforms
that make them look like cartoons
or what I believe cartoons
would look like if they came to life.


By now you’ve realized I have nothing
to say, and I’ve taken about four minutes
to do that.


Kabir said there’s a moon in the body,
but we cannot see it.
Sometimes at night I listen
for the cicadas to stop,
like the moment of silence
when we flip a record,
and when they start again
you realize how surrounded
you are, the darkness dense
with their mouths,
their wings sawing
like violin bows
on femurs.


If there’s a moon in the body
it must be the heart,
never the same light twice
like the river Heraclitus
got caught in between flood
and drought ,
Every night a different moon,
a new face staring back
from an auditorium of stars.


When the moon sets
and the lions finally tire
and consume the cows,
then all of our works
truly are zero.

Grant Clauser is the author of the books Necessary Myths and The Trouble with Rivers. Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Cheat River Review, Cortland Review, The Literary Review, Painted Bride Quarterly and others. By day he writes about electronics and daydreams about fly-fishing. He teaches workshops at Musehouse and runs the blog www.unIambic.com.

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