Notes from Bozeman

Tagged as Butler, Poetry

Written on 2008-01-10 04:31:27

I have learned that Montana is
a lonely state. Filled with that beauty
which could only belong to abject desolation.
They tell me it is the fastest
growing county in the state. And here
I can more clearly pick out:
the howling on the wind,
the tracks of my pursuers,
and the flock that will follow.
What is it, I wonder, that draws us
together in our loneliness? Is it some
incomprehensible wonder at an unceasing
orderless motion? I no longer search
the skies for a conductor. My search more often
turns inward. And there, clockwork reigns.
A silent oscillation between misanthropy
and optimism. A confusion at the whispered words
of justice. And no sense whatsoever
of how through it all a warm hearth is found.
And home.

By chance I left Neruda at home, whom
Yevtushenko reminded me of. By chance I found
that slumbering desire to be everyone, sense
everything, and connect with the ineffable essence
of the world. And though I may never
make peace with this curse of oneness I
am confident that there lies in wait for me
some richness to call mine that shall not fade.

But I am also unsure any of us
are deserving of such a future when
I see:
our capacity for insular obstinance,
our apparent lack of stewardship,
or our bottomless apathy, mindless consumerism,
moral ambivalence, and
petty categorical divisions
into imagined communities.

What will it take to stimulate interest
and invoke participation in the human
cause? Or shall we continue on as an inert
public, a chemical cesspool acting out the
steps of a process written long ago?
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