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


from Offworld

this was a vision: humans
create
world emerging from an egg
a shepherdess is our voice victim of sorrow
victim of sorrow is our own mind
took our stations to the street
buildings on fire, create the anterior mindset
anywhere out of this world

there was a phony adolescent incident: “Jim Morrison stripped down
as the Antinomians mocked Mormon pedagogy”

worlds in collision, dreams logic

a raid, a disaster
Blake sits naked in his garden
devotees depart in a senseless frenzy

you might chisel your way into existence
and the sweat of your labor become rain

you might be Nature chuckling back at herself

who completes you?

and this is the story:

four strums of a tetrachord

innocence turns gods into stones
a good idea
Aristharchus had an idea once too

about the sun
that it would be fine without him

syntaxis, Almagest
Mikołaj Kopernik

astronomers always have their day

exact curve of feeling isn’t identifiable yet
perhaps it will come
in study of parallel universes

imitate me she sang, singing in harmony with her own self
enclosures within enclosures. New planets and stars

what wasn’t said of Thel didn’t tell you didn’t warn you of Thel wouldn’t do it
what if they said Thel you would be hampered you would be diminished

microcosmic paratactic
small inkling this would end. soon.
in special language enclosed
without ties, a lover ties you down
adolescent idea of “orienting”
and the gypsy reads all our getaway cards

without religion but better than that
harsh discourse is mosaic intention
shattering all downplay stress mode tesserae
but you will rise in the house of choosing
you are all content today, gauzy is another
length of human
companion to a 1,000 year plan
abundant inflections complicate the strife
tone is tautological
taut is my generation
we had enough of it today
we are author and roam as such
as such discern to listen
do we have tomorrow?
you are divine
hypnagogic playmate, Thel
and your dangerous
withdrawal of my study plan
willful in origin is
unguarded, help me out here

Credit


Anne Waldman, "Offworld" from Voice's Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born. Copyright © 2016 by Anne Waldeman. Used with permission of Coffee House Press, www.coffeehousepress.org.

Author


Anne Waldman

A prominent figure in the Beat poetry generation, Anne Waldman has published over forty books of poetry and is the cofounder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2011 to 2016.

Date Published: 2016-04-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/offworld