Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Franz Wright The Only Animal

This poem caused deep emotions to stir in me when I first encountered it in 2004. I am having some health issues again and my brain is working very slow. I wanted to post something today. I hope any readers I have or may have in the future will enjoy this.

The only animal that commits suicide
went for a walk in the park
basked on a hard bench
in the first star
travelled to the edge of space
in an armchair
while company quietly
talked, and abruptly
the room empty

The only animal that cries
that takes off its clothes
and reports to the mirror, the one
and only animal
that brushes its own teeth


the only animal that smokes a cigarette
that lies down and flies backward in
that rises and walks to a book
and looks up a word
heard a telephone ringing
in the darkness downstairs and decided
to answer no more

And I understand
too well; how many times
have I made the decision to dwell
from now on
in the hour of my death

(the space I took up here scarlessly
closing like water)
and said I'm never coming back,
and yet

This morning
I stood once again
in this world, the garden
ark and vacant
tomb of what
I can't imagine
between twin eternities,
some sort of wings,
more or less equidistantly
exiled from both,
hovering in the dreaming called
being awake, where
you gave me
in secret one thing
to perceive, the
tall blue starry
strangeness of being
here at all.
You gave us each in secret one thing to

Furless now, upright, my banished
and experimental

You said, though your own heart
condemn you
I do not condemn you.

--------Franz Wright-------

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