Li Po gets drunk and jumps in the river

Tonight I wanted to write a poem about a young girl who
       chases a kite or a balloon or a scarf off the side of a mountain,
       plummeting to her death.

The poem I was going to write had to do with the way we all,
       at one time or another, have wanted something
       as desperately as this.

Li Po, 61, drunk, jumps from his boat – looking for the reflection of
       the moon or the stars or a fish in the Yangtze River –
       sinking toward an unknown burial.

The fish I was going to write about were going to be as ancient as the moon
       or as old as Li Po, or the girl who was twelve years old
       going on infinite.

I was going to write about the way we all, at one time, have wanted
       something as badly as the girl running after a flag or an umbrella or
       a distant airplane, or toward her own destiny of grief;
       how all of us have at some time been as desperate as this.

Then I glanced at the mountain of books beside my bed, at the laundry
       huddled in the corner of the room like a judgment: all of the
       ordinary signs of a full and crowded life that is branded invisibly
       by dirt and quiet disregard.

I walked outside along the landing, into the darkness
       as old as the stars that weren’t there.

I thought of the mountains, and of the moon reflected in the sea somewhere.
       I thought of the laundry in the bedroom and the books that will be waiting
       tomorrow and the day after
               for someone to bring them to life again.

*this poem is published in Gorrilla Troop Press, summer volume & in the forthcoming edition of FrankMatter, September 2013

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One thought on “Li Po gets drunk and jumps in the river

  1. No matter how hard I try this particular poem will simply not format the way I want it to on this website. The line breaks and the spacing are arbitrary in their current form.

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