There's always the rope, which can be a belt, the strings
of a lyre, a snake holding at bay the tired shoelaces,
a solid twine that holds the car together, the nape of a noose.
No need to mention what else rope can do, flexible vertebrae
like cats, snakes, crocodiles, biting their own tails, loping, curving,
knotted, holding together or ripping apart, whatever.
Rope of guts on a messy sylvan altar; take that for
your puerile Romantic visions. Growing up means tying knots
of the kind that bind us together, lovers, slaves, servants,
majestic belayers of spirit and stone. Everything comes out
all at the same time. Bouncing between pens seems normal,
one pen presses the blank-eyed notebook, another making dots on lines
that someday maybe someone will turn into music. Ropes
of scrawled poem lines, ropes of tangled dots,
knots in a net, caught up with flotsam and pearls.
It gives us something to talk about. is talking better
than silence? Not often, almost never in fact. Even tied
to the railing, you often reach the edge of words.
Below you nothing but air, cold steam, hidden spires.
There's the rope that keeps you from falling too.
The monkey-god snake-charmer plays his nasal shawm
until the rope stands stiff and tall and he climbs up
towards clouded heaven. Consider heaven, how easier
it is to fall than to climb up. Even tied to balloons
it's easy to miss the mark. Do angels use hot air
balloons? Probably not. Their wings rope them to particular
pathways, trails of the known, well-mapped accepted routes.
Rope sandals never touching down in the catacombs.
Feeling roped back now into the usual rodeo, those classic postcards
of angelic cowboys wrestling steer, and we're back to
the pile of steaming entrails on the altar, only this time
the altars of feed-lot and rendering-plant profits.
Stink of self-pity, its offal stench. How did we end up
back here anyway? Oh yeah, climbing that thin white rope
towards god. Umbrella ties and bits of string.
Every time you feel like knotting the rope, make a lariat
not a noose, and rope yourself some of the sun god's golden cattle.
Hang on the tree, not from it. Hang out over the clouded edge,
tethered to the railing, washing god's iced-over windows.
Steel bridge cables hold you gently rocking over the blank void.
The cable of the necklace you put on every morning.
The lover's red shirt hung casually from the bathroom doorknob,