letter to Noam Chomsky

 

Dear Mr. Chomsky;

I know you are probably quite busy
but the world’s a mess
and Dostoevsky always said
if I could get it down on paper
it might cease to oppress me

You see how we’re prey to truth
at 43 it gets so acute
no matter where I turn
there I am
waiting on a platform
for a train that never comes

You feel this, too, probably
like the long wait for Justice in America
or a foreign policy that isn’t simply murder

So there you are
waiting for that train
and you read all the signs and bulletins
walk around the station 10, 20 times

But still nothing
is that the train?
no, it’s a cab
and the sun starts to go down
so you put on your scarf
and you think
WHY CAN’T I JUST CURL UP IN THIS SCARF?
oh, I’m too big
then you wish
I WISH I WAS SMALL ENOUGH
TO CURL UP IN THIS HERE SCARF
but I’m not
I’m big
like an awkward skyscraper
naked
above a small town
big like a bridge is too big
to get your arms around
still: NO TRAIN

So you start to look real close
at the burnished steel of the rails
the part that a train’s wheels ride upon
and then you look hard
at the rest of the track
all dank creosote and rusty iron
and you think
BY GOD
THERE’S REAL MEANING HERE
but dammit if you can unravel it
something about action and contact making one shine
and inaction and isolation just leading to rust
BUT THAT’S NOT QUITE IT
and you sense this
this not-grasping

And still: THE TRAIN WHICH ISN’T

So you move your bag over close to the wall
and you try sitting on it
BUT SOMETHING’S GETTING CRUSHED
IN THERE
so you try sitting on the cold concrete
but that’s no good
so you stand once more
and
EVEN THOUGH YOU QUIT SMOKING
you go and bum a cigarette
from one of the other hapless souls
out there on the platform
and
after a little small-talk
you bum a light, too
AND YOU’RE ALL SET
so you light up
and smoke your brains out

BUT STILL NO TRAIN

Now you’re beside yourself
so you read all the signs again
and the bulletins, too
and you sort of fall asleep
while staring out at the
HUGE NOTHING
across the tracks
so asleep you don’t quite realize
that you’re not seeing it
it,
the
HUGE NOTHING

But then
you start to sense it
you recognize this
this
NOTHING
yes, you’ve seen this
NOTHING
before
why, it’s been there the whole time

And it is profound
or,
rather,
it would be profound
because you were about to
seize upon it’s dimensions
the full, flaccid horror
the anti-face of
NOTHING
and fling it finally
unequivocally
from your life

BUT NOW THE TRAIN ARRIVES
distracting
pulling you away
filling the
NOTHING
temporarily
with a loud
steaming
colossal
illusion

So you get on board
I mean,
you were waiting for it,
the time has come
this must be the reason
this must be
THE THING TO DO

And as you pull away
you must find a seat
someone wants to talk about the weather
the train guy wants your ticket
and your bag
where do the bags go?
during all this
YOU FORGET
you forget that you saw it
the
HUGE NOTHING
where your life was supposed to be

You forget
and fumble for your headphones.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s