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Revolutions

Robert Priest
From:   The Visible Man. Toronto: Unfinished Monument Press, 1980.


(for Galileo)

i am a tall white thing that birds fly out of
that is why you see me in the morning so open-mouthed and foolish
the doctor said
"you are upside down
you have a large wounded thing in your mouth
i would advise you to cry"
but i said "no doctor
you are wrong
i am tremulous and exultant—a green strand
drawn from the throat of a flower
i am the magnet the wind arrives at finally
those are songs you see lodged in me
if i cry there will be no passion in it
i have tried again and again to throw off these robes of water
but wherever i have whirled them—
there the drunken—the inexhaustible flowers
have followed and come groping up to me
with praises
why should i cry?"
"you're upside down" he said
"no" i replied, and i began to revolve in the air
in front of him
"you think it must be somewhere near here
that the ground is
the suicides have told you
the rain and snow have told you
it's down below
somewhere under the houses
but they are wrong
and you are wrong
i am that dancing man
who kicks over the jug of the stars
those are my tracks across the moon

wherever i put my feet
that is where
the ground is



Robert Priest's works copyright © to the author.


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