She told the cop
I was writing a poem.
Somehow that embarrasses me.
Not because I’m embarrassed for writing poetry~
But because in this moment, this uniformed officer is concerned with things like speeding cars, drug dealers, robberies, and people being where they are not supposed to be. He’s concerned with this reality, this world, these rules. Control.
And I know he doesn’t care that this is the first night I’ve seen the stars in quite some time. He doesn’t care that the emotion that has squeezed me like a secret is now pouring out of me, bleeding like acid out of my veins, allowing me finally some peace from the razor-like thoughts that have accosted me these past few days….
Poetic inspiration is not his concern. If poetry were breaking the laws he sees (he can’t see concepts being overthrown, dictatorships of meter being defeated, solid walls of emotion turned to water), he might notice.
If poetry were a substance, it would be more addictive than any opiate, and would be hoarded in warehouses, dealt by gangsters in mod clothing (hey ~ you got five bucks? Five for a rhyme…)
Poetry is the speeding car that a cop can never catch because this car is speeding in another dimension, and there are no laws to break there, no guidelines, no traffic signals~
How can you control anything in a land where even punctuation is an afterthought
Poetry is a black plague, an exploding planet, parting seas, the maelstrom of human pain, tornadoes and the passionate screams of love~
It is blasphemous, chaotic, ecstatic, erotic, rabid, unrelenting, maniacal, venting, insane, inspired, creation, destruction, obsession, eruption~ wisdom, FREEDOM~
If they could see it, police would call that mass hysteria~ and they’d arrest it, lock it up, chain it to the status quo and beat it senseless. But that mass hysteria is present when any being rises against any standard of what this world deems usual, acceptable (translation: repressable) to a level of actually being, actually living, actually feeling, above and beyond the hypnotic blanket which saturates every mind’s every crevice, blotting out every original thought while they lie asleep at the TV, every night, in their safe little homes, where they learn to forget… )
But tonight, deep inside I am afraid that my revelation is no match for the cold metal he carries~
My inspiration, a tiny breeze against the sandstorm of civilization~ my uncivilized creativity, a refugee in this land.
Right now he asks us why we are sitting in a parking lot overlooking the lake so late at night~ in this pocket of stillness by this lighthouse, where its beautiful and the spirits of the universe are out ~
And my mother says, “she was writing a poem.” The cop informs us that the park is closed (Does nature ever close?)
And he informs us that we must leave, because writing a poem is not enough to warrant our staying in this parking lot~ and it’s just as well, because we are not really in this universe, much less this parking lot. .
We are more real than anything he will ever see, or ever know. The colors we see are more vivid than anything he will experience. And every drop of blood he spills will not mean as much as one word I say, on one page~ like that one original thought which will echo forever in the chamber and never be fired, sitting in his mind, for the rest of his life.
So we simply drive away, and leave poetry for another day, when the park is open.
Copyright 2006 by Lane Eddington, All Rights Reserved.