Sunday, August 12, 2012

If I Had Been Blacklisted

by Mutt & Jeff

            Should I have found myself
with a broken filament connected to a beadwire chain,
     only a sporadic connection flashing between antipodes lighting my apartment,
smells of chutney and ginger cauliflower wafting between the wooden planks
     separating me from the apartment below,
                          a wedge of peppered potatoes
left over from my starch and sourdough supper the night before?

            Should I have found myself
with a wife used to theatre and pearls,
  with children used to a father at home,
            locked behind a door,
            chained to a mahogany desk and squeaky cogged typewriter?
And then my wife moving upstate to live in her parents chandeliered home,
            and her believing everything said about me,
        she telling my son that his father is a traitor,
            should then my friends
whom I met at Hammer’s Deli
not come around or answer letters?

            I should have then felt kinship to Meursault,
finding myself absurdly positioned,
            on trial for an entire nation’s ignorance,
not caring for the jeers and taunts of the fanatically fervored,
  the harmless nonsense of a barbaric tongue,
and would I have then learned their language,
and called things,
         named things the way they named things,
                               then accepted,
                               finding work,
         my wife coming back after her pride’s acquittal,
I should have regained an audience which was never necessary.

            Should I have betrayed my work
for the sake of continuing work?
            Why go back to 1950 to test myself?
McCarthy was not a man.
He is the tendon in the finger that pulls a trigger,
            the sinew in the shoulder that lifts the kirk,
            the nervous impulse which first raised a stick in troglodyte hands and smote down
                    the member to take a contrary stand.

I am the heretic wildhair slithering,
   Sloughing naked in the berry and briars,
     With gasoline poured and
       Flambéed into a tunnel seeking me out.
I doubt I should not,
    Accepting my fate,
Strike hyperdermic at ankles.
My death, if the last, is freedom’s death.

The freest actions are chained if the mind is tame.

No comments:

Post a Comment