By Ravi Shankar
Honest self-scrutiny too easily mutinies,
mutates into false memories
Which find language a receptive host,
Boosted by boastful embellishments.
Self-esteem is raised on wobbly beams,
seeming seen as stuff enough
To fund the hedge of personality,
Though personally, I cannot forget
Whom I have met and somehow wronged,
wrung for a jot of fugitive juice,
Trading some ruse for a blot or two,
Labored to braid from transparent diction
Fiction, quick fix, quixotic fixation.
As the pulse of impulses
Drained through my veins, I tried to live
Twenty lives at once. Now one is plenty.
Ravi Shankar, "Contraction" from Instrumentality. Copyright © 2005 by Ravi Shankar. Reprinted by permission of the author.
Source: Instrumentality (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005)
More Poems about Living
A wishbone branch falls
from my Grandma Thelma’s oak
What do you know about magic? e1 asks.
E bends e old body down, turns
the wishbone branch into
a cross, places it around my neck.
I am strapped at the Black River’s right shoulder,
I want to put down what the mountain has awakened.
My mouthful of grass.
My curious tale. I want to stand still but find myself moved patch by patch.
There's a bleat in my throat. Words fail me here. Can you understand? I...