Emerson Eye Mind by Dale Williams Barrigar

Emerson Eye Mind

       Life of an American Word Scholar
       For the Incarcerated Writer, Future, Past, and Present

       “And I may dine at journey’s end
       with Landor and with Donne.”

           -William Butler Yeats

Now at the end
and you know it, you find the stub
of old pencil in a pants pocket.

And because you looked like a worn-out poet
in some lights to a certain lonely soldier,
she came on delicate tip-toes and gave you
toilet paper through the bars with her long,
deadly fingers, wearing nothing at all.

So now you blow her
another kiss and wave her fondly away
so you can begin to scrawl with your
starving hand.

Like the black reaching, screeching
owl, hawk, dove, and raven-filled
tree branches at the shuddering
culmination of Earth’s last winter’s tale
in the occupied village above
your mind.

“…Not the end,” you write.
“Not the end. Not the end.…
the beginning again.” You go there
and I go here because this is me
and that is my soul….and I am trying
to survive. Spirit of favored ancestral
abodes. Somewhere pure
with my sweet-fur Siberian Huskies
no longer gone,
       and Philip K. Dick
       and Lester Bangs
       and Nelson Algren
beyond the next starry plain….
or the one after that….
       Yes, Swedenborg,
       I see that you were
       sane and your critics
       were the crazies,
       they were so, so crazy.

Dale Williams Barrigar is a speculative poet from the Great Lakes region. He has a new collection called Haunting Euclid Avenue. The above work was inspired by Bruce Boston, who also offered indispensable critical guidance.

Editor’s Notes and Image Credit: See “Intellect” by Ralph Waldo Emerson for additional insight; the image credit: ocean-sky horizon with inscription [quotefancy.com]