Friday, April 3, 2015



A poem about a cross on a certain
Day in a certain part of the world far
Removed from where the poet sits
And wonders how to write a poem
Like this. All the words that can be
Said have been said. There is no
Middle ground: either understated
Or hyperbole—but neither comes
Close to the reality of this certain cross
On a certain day in a certain part of the world
Far removed from where this poet sits.

The poet feels he should write a poem—he
Thinks a poem about what is one of the
Two or three singularly most important
Days in the history of the world; he should
Be able to write such a poem; then, he
Rabbits off about what the other events
Might be, all of which, apparently, lead
To or from this certain cross on this certain
Day—the day he sits wondering why
He is moved so far beyond adequacy
That it feels like writer’s block.

Certain cross on this certain day was
Located just outside a certain city—the
Base of that cross was set with certainty
In the grounds of a certain hill with a
Certain name. It was a certain hill
Close enough to the certain city to,
Certainly, be unavoidable. Certain
People—some, like ambulance chasers—were
Drawn there; some there with great
Purpose and others, certainly,
just doing their job;
others, casually out For a stroll
on this certain day,
just happened to see this certain cross
On which hung this certain man who,
Even in his dying, attracted attention—
Certain kinds of attention: fear, certainly;
Derision, of course; the other certain kind
Of fear—awe; a certain sense of well,
We’ve solved this problem and now we
Can get on with our business and now we
Can wash our hands and turn back to the
Certain business of empire and temple;
also, a certain sense of well, I guess that’s that—
so glad I have a fall back safety net—I go fishing.

That certain ground shook that day, rocked
The certainties of that world then and
Certainly continues to shake the rock solid
Certainties of all time and this time and
That time and this place. This poet’s heart,
certainly, shaken Beyond certainties
wondering whether it is
Even possible to write a poem about
Certainly the singularly most horrible and
Most wonderful death the world knows.


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