Friday, August 12, 2011

The Sestina

I spent all day on this. Once I started, I couldn't stop. There was nothing else to do.

I Don’t Know About All This

The gals attending the annual bird pageant
peek through bead eyes, find it hard to swallow:
the lengths of men’s tails, leaving them to doubt
whether they might ever find any as long as a dog’s
and it is so very difficult to have so much patience.
The blind sages call all of this show a grave-sin.

Can there be with all of life, a beauty in the sin
or are all these attention-shows a meaningless pageant
the wise are forced to suffer through with patience?
Arise off of your perch, bright modest swallow!
Leave in the dust the world of chomping dogs,
fly free of pretense, false affection and self-doubt!

Be not like the famous ancient man Thomas of Doubt,
find the one redemption to free yourself from showy sin,
don’t let anyone find truth in calling you one of the dogs,
make your life the example, don’t attend the world’s pageant,
and be able to make the difficult decision to force to swallow
the phrase, “All good things come to those who have patience.”

The nurse-world has turned us all into her patients
kept in a hospital-cycle: from blissful hope to doubt
she sticks down our throats what is too easy to swallow:
the large, quick-acting, sleep-inducing, placebo medicine.
We pin a blue ribbon on the ugliest patient at the pageant
because the large pill lowers us all to the status of dogs.

We become bastards, bitches, sons-of-bitches, baddest of dogs
howling our complaints to our vets as we wounded patients
are criticized only because we enter ourselves into the pageant,
induced to see our own worth through the lens of doubt
and to never be able to forget our memories of naked sin
we ironically destroy what’s good, swallow the whole swallow.

We keep exchanging roles for one another: the swallow
to the swallower, the ruthless, toothful, chomping dogs.
So much switching must be what the sages say: a sin.
We must stop being so good at having easy patience
with ourselves and begin to forever seriously doubt
the value of our sticky lives at the long-lasting pageant.

If you can see it is a sin to swallow
the cotton-candy pageant, leave it to the dogs,
I have no patience left, and need a way out of all this doubt.