Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Practice

They mistook me for illumination — a revenant in walking shoes — so I gathered significance and spread text... stood beneath the seven cardinal points with arms upraised — practical telepathy — in a white paper suit like a flag of surrender, thunder at my back... I was an open man of the open streets — a burnished sieve of common purpose — scrawled on walls, thrashed cans and blasted caps for equivalence. I wasn't alone — the boulevards teemed with wiggly kids and mooing parents slow as boulders. In the Plaza Palabra on a green iron bench a grand senora suffered the odes of schoolboys and thugs — smiled behind an opal fan while they searched for words to match their tumultuous nights — and all words fit... In July — volubility — I hoarded cherries, catalogued their juices — were they Rainier, Blood Nut, Royal Ann, Squirrel Heart, Rosebud or Bing? —then swallowed them one by one like detonations...initiations...In a fever of taxonomy I followed a squadron of dragonflies right to the vanishing point...Incarnation is a provisional state, but stretches outward like noon. For practice, I wallowed and stretched...

Credit


From Citizen by Aaron Shurin. Copyright © 2012 by Aaron Shurin. Reprinted with permission of City Lights. All rights reserved.

Author


Aaron Shurin

Aaron Shurin is the author of Citizen (City Lights Publishers, 2011).

Date Published: 2012-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/practice-0