Thursday, April 28, 2011

National Poetry Month: Steve Robbins

"A Physical Constitution"

Steve Robbins


Insomuch as we owe a familial debt to our bodies, orbital and compounded,

though vagaries of form and motion confuse us, we cede,

our bodies spurn worlds unto themselves,

shallow wishing wells consumed with copper, zinc and manganese,

beggars hoarding expired crusts of moldy bread,

seraphic blasts of brilliance from deep volcanic riot.

Article I.

We are Heavenly bodies,

bodies of science and knowledge in tune with moons & stars,

celestial bodies in perpetual cant,

revolutionary bodies wrapped in blue-black fatigues of forever,

planetary bodies in predestined apogee extensions

retracing slack paths back to the womb of eternity.

We are bodies in motion and bodies at rest.

We are the physics of mass aghast at the gravity of light.

Article II.

We are bodies of Art,

earthen bodies fashioned by craft happy souls,

scored & burnished, kiln-burned clays

formative & functional recruitments of silica, blood-root, carbon and stone.

We are bodies of music, the skins of Bodhran drums,

as well as, African masks on pedestals and Native American totems carved in ageless Redwood history.

We are a brush with realism, romanticism, dadaism, cubism, modernism

and post-post-post-ad-nausea-ism.

We are tomes, bodies of literature opening new frontiers to fresh minds

antsy at the seat of academy.

We are bodies of poetry in night-sweat dreams on onion skinned sheets.

Article III.

We are bodies of Water,

derisive white teeth segregating shores,

bodies of sailors sixed to the deep,

mermaid bodies spawning bright fantastic tales,

bodies of coral erecting erotic cairns for lost and dying species.

We are flotsam & jetsam, kelp beds torn from their moorings.

We calmly ride the litter strewn spume.

We are mounded dunes eroded by moon-tide, neap and hurricane,

the bodies of children building castles in the sand,

the brevity of histories shaped by shovel, pail and damp imagination.

Article IV.

We are a National body,

patriotic, a body politic draped in blood-red banners, (with starched white creases.)

We are royal blue behind an eminence of crowded stars.

We are the chosen body, inalienable to our rights,

bodies endowed by their Maker, the great Tinker

worshiped, despised, appeased, impugned, supplicated, relegated

and generally ignored. The One in whom we trust.

We are a body of contradiction waving freedom's flag,

the bodies of immigrants, fisted, emaciated with American dreams,

new world logos emblazoned on flat-hats, turbans, tams and berets,

a body of want bobbing on the shores of promise, a bankruptcy of unrequited wealth.

Article V.

We are the body of Religion,

the body hung upon the tree, the body sitting under the tree,

the body of stone tablets toted across deserts in the arms of trees,

the body spreading violent roots,

the body content to be a tree, to love a tree.

And we are the body of sin & suffering & shame,

the body blood-washed of sin & suffering & shame,

the body awakening from sin & suffering and shame,

the body inflicting sin & suffering and shame

(for the promotions of heavenly rapture.)

We are a jeweled body gilt with gold donations.

We are entranced bodies twirling in ecstasy,

bodies refitted through a thousand lifetimes

or bodies with one seamless lifeline to live.

We are high-rise temples in divine foreclosure.

We are a wrinkled finger pointing at the moon.

Article VI.

We are bodies of Flesh and Bone,

the bodies of pubescent girls, soft-skinned, downy and innocent.

We are the bodies of hairy old men stunk with sweats of labor and lust,

the sleek bodies of superstars and supermodels

the bodies of middle-aged Jewish lawyers reeking of gefilte fish.

We are the bodies of societal norms

in bodies rebelling against societal norm,

unique in our inclusions, cellular in our diversity, sharers of disease,

though self-healers beholden to the magic of fabrication.

We are bodies of improvised design.


We are taught the body is naught bereft of the soul,

but who knows the soul apart from body.

The body is majestic, a scion of indentured delight,

the soft-target of torment and the origin of orgasmic bliss.

Well, perhaps it is only this!

We are simply bodies collapsing into other bodies

bodies fed together at the gaunt streams of life,

bodies to be celebrated without concert guilt,

bodies to be endured without nostalgic remorse,

bodies to be shared, bodies to be held,

bodies to be kissed and fucked and blest with sacred fervor,

eyes and fingers, noses and toes

all with an aptitude for instinct

and all glorious bodies most holy and divine.

"A Physical Constitution" originally appeared on Steve Robbins' blog, Southbound Sigh. Robbins lives in Toccoa, Georgia.

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