Everything I’ve Learned

Originally posted 2010.  A Duende Project staple from the duo days. Probably something we should look at for the full band…?

This is everything I have learned:

that I am nothing.

That as nothing, I am exalted
to be nothing. Deliciously
inconsequential, a part of the Machine
of Stars/Necklace on
the Throat of Creation.

That I
mean so little, anything is free
to hold me.

That I am peer
of leopard and dysentery,
of coconut palm and stray wrapper.

That the pattern of rejection/containment
is the warp of my woof. 
Woolly headed 
and slubby
as a pilled cardigan 
on a grandfather’s back. 
Only here 
for the warmth.

That I am song
under shower breath.

That I will be forgotten,
and this gladdens the non-ego
that fights my stick-wielding
caveman heart.

That love and robbery holler equally
in the alley of my elbows as I grasp
the always coming always receding days
I bore through in anger and dread and joy.

That joy itself
is a movie written by another
but I imagine myself
as grip and gaffer at once
upon its set.

That the skin I’ve stretched
and the blood I’ve pressurized
will look awful when I go,
my bowels a roaring ghost 
of past indiscretion,
my face a sagged charlie horse
in the leg of a loved
one long after my burial,
putting a hitch in their walk.

That every barking tree limb
in a forest 
laden with ice
knows its place better than I do,
and I am happy to listen and learn.

That a man’s
no more human than a tin can on a heap of worms
and that the whine of a bomb is a natural song
of the city of God.

That I am happy
and I am nothing, and
all is nothing,
and since all is nothing
and everything at once

it must be so
that nothing is important and
nothing stands out,
importance itself is nothing,
my 
self-importance
is the Ganges of my fierce greed
where I will burn myself to ash and crackle
in the consummation of The Wheel

as the last thing I say to another
is swallowed in the Great River
and I am lost to the sun and the voice,

and the Necklace that hangs
upon the neck of Creation
will be my shade against
the long night 
of what comes after
this life, 
this night of knowing
how small I was
and how much I offered to Completion

by simply being what I was:
a petty, magnificent animal.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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