Saturday, March 7, 2009

Poem For A Pedestal


Who made me I cannot say. My ancestor is the avalanche splinter,
the glacier peel.
The stele in the rough.
When man started to look he found me.
He moved me as I moved him.
I told him where he was.

Ready mades traveled poorly.
Bundling the scattered fragments of peak and wall
into human girth
Left a petrified shadow of the traveler
For followers to greet.
Rock upon rock, the top rock
Just a different plane,
Its flank a plateau, Upended

The last became the first of something else.
Gaping poked twice with a sharp tool made gazing ,
Watch keeping
While mortals moved in sleep cycles.

Who started the show? An artful caveman who sent burning twigs out as invitations? Or a salamander mother practicing reproduction in an age without art?

Look at me now. I once strode on tip-toe brimming with news and meaning. But that figure slipped through the cracks of human care and know how
Leaving a block note in its place.

Once an artist tried putting one on me. Imagine:
Slave to the slave. Have you seen this one before?

Call me cubic though I am really a wedge.
I stop time at noon. I am a fixed value.
I’m cheap but I can make your work look like a million bucks.

I catch the jerk and hoist of man’s entanglement with mind and matter
Above the ground’s swell and the water’s wash into the path of blinking souls.

It’s rent-free but there’s no telling when the lease will up and
There is rarely further ado.

I take up space.

I come with the furniture, the art, the gallery and the territory.
Name it on me. I’ll keep saying it even when your bronze has hit the dirt.
I’ll say it until they tattoo me with another’s name and cry.
Me? A whore? Well, you just use me anyway! You're always on top!
Goodbye then! (You’ll be back!).

I am only loved for my body.
I am sculpture’s prosthesis.
I am the single spaced podium.
I leave the winner at your eye, and the rest at
Your feet.

The space above me:
I think it and you can read my thoughts.
I make it
But I don’t own it.

It’s the holiest place on earth.

Your gaze is my meaning although it has always been over my head.

Call me pedestal.