I am swarmed with the absolutes
whenever I sit with this world — nothing,
nowhere, everything, everyone.
Sit, trying to see details,
trying to examine the particulars
that vanish in the wash of
outraged experience. The older I get,
the more I am drowned in absolutes,
the more I extrapolate from
that brick on the sidewalk, most likely
left over from some long-abandoned
project, kicking around here
for so long I can’t recall
its first appearance. I fantasize
it’s a leftover not of building
but of destruction, a leftover
of streetfight, revolt, of windows smashing
in defiance of landlord and overlord —
fall headlong into
everything, everyone —
and there I am again, out in the world.
Far away from the brick on the sidewalk
in front of my house. The one
I have kicked aside for years
and never picked up. Never looked at,
not much anyway.
Never tried to build
or break a thing with it.
It’s just a prop for my immersion
in the absolutes of theory
and what I ought to be doing
with this art, this life.
I should be ashamed
that I have never
lifted that brick myself, stopping
to notice the specifics of any concrete
adhering to the sides. The discoloration,
the pitting. The weight.
I ought to have known its particulars
before deciding if it was to become
weapon or poem.
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