run on running on {null set}

by Richard Paez

     This is the bed on which I sleep
                         (and now I lay me down to…)
     These are the stories that I keep
                         (pray the lord my soul to…)
     This is the dawn to which I wake
                         (and if I die before I…)
     These are the measure that I take
                         (pray the lord my soul to…)

Take another look
at this lucid dream
these flaccid hopes –

     awake to the mathematics of routine,
     regression to the mean,
     the purpose implied by patterns
     and the patterns imposed by purpose

     pray to the medicines of man,
     acceptable tolerance levels,
     pre-scribed boundaries,
     pre-scripted deviations from the norm.

     take another measure
     to keep myself proportioned,
     partitioned, bottled up
     washed out and watered down.

Too many word-games to play at –
this, my punctuated equilibrium
or my equilibrium punctured?

     Should I settle
     for an equilibrium
     of punctuation,
     or just run on

          running on across
          the infinite expanse
          of my recurring
          half-remembered dreams?

As I’ve said before:
these word-games played persist

     these word-games played persist
     these word-games are the next best thing

          to the next best thing:
          hanging like a martyr, a messiah

               between what I cannot have
               and what I cannot become

{your little boy, your strong man, yours}


Posted on 02/26/2011
Copyright © 2023 Richard Paez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 03/18/11 at 11:41 PM

Word games or wishful thinking or whatever, there comes a time when reality settles in--sometimes--maybe too often choose something much less than visionary dreams.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 04/28/14 at 02:30 PM

I really like the structure to that first stanza and what you explore here. Congrats on POTD!

Posted by George Hoerner on 04/28/14 at 08:12 PM

Really well done Richard and it deserves the POTD that it is today.

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