What is poetry?
he asked aloud of
no one in particular
What is narrative?
to himself with his mental voice that had grown
oh so old after a
long period of inchoate thought.
What matters is where a narrative goes,
even if it never goes anywhere.
The man speaks aloud to hear himself think more clearly:
“Running in place is still a form of time travel.
A static motion of sorts.
But, what of those stories with no beginning?
How do they work?
How is it that I can be satisfied by a story
that the endings are withered, worn, and plain forgot,
but a story without a beginning unravels everything about myself?
I know I cannot cope with a story that has no beginning.
I cannot remember how or when or where I began but at least,
I can fabricate a narrative that reads like poetry
of how I was birthed
by my mother
who was birthed by her mother
and so on,
until I am satisfied by the fact that I belong to my species
just as any branch is a part of a tree.
I am safe between root and stem, so long as I do not pull on this thread
about my genetic origins too hard,
I may unravel the entire story of life itself
by asking the very same questions that I started with,
why this? and how that?
that got me into this mess of unspooled string,
wondering, how exactly did unorganized matter
ascend to the order of life?
With no answer, my questions die, alone and in the darkness.
And, as I have noted,
I do not like it when a story does not have a proper beginning.
But, we know no more than that. So, those who would claim this knowledge
are escaping from the uncomfortable feeling that some stories never begin –
they simply are from whence they weren’t.
That’s why the Big Bang is so overwhelming
for my simple Simian mind to digest
and understand so I argue with the Universe, yelling:
“Well, of course you have to obey the rules of time and space, you ARE time-space! You can’t not be and then just suddenly exist, creating the very essence of change itself and carrying along with you existence itself!”
But, of course, I know nothing of the inner workings of the Universe.
And, I know nothing of the inner workings of my own mind
for I do not know where I came from, really,
but, at least, I can leave you here, hanging on my words,
going nowhere in particular, coming from no place
miraculous or spectacular, and still end up,
with nothing more than a poem without a narrative,
and a narrative without a beginning…”