Summer 2012

Table of Contents - Vol. VIII, No. 2


Poetry    Fiction    Translations    Reviews   

Michael Monroe


An Answer to Walt Whitman

“POETS to come!  Orators, singers, musicians to come!
Not to-day is to justify me, and answer what I am for;
But you, a new brood, native, athletic, continental, greater than before known,
Arouse!  Arouse-for you must justify me-you must answer.”
--Walt Whitman
, Leaves of Grass, Poets to Come.

I am the dirty gum eternally stuck beneath the ever-walking foot of the conquering
unthinking bovine capitalist fascist machine.
I am the bird singing from the tree, waking you in the morning, singing non-stop
beauty into the Summer air, the songbird that won’t shut up, that can’t shut up.
I am the zit on your face when you look in the mirror, oozing puss and blood and
reminding you of your humanity.
I am the question mark in your philosophy tome, the highlighter in your holy book,
the crumbling brown paper of your national documents.
I am the thunder that shakes the city, rattling buildings, echoing and vibrating
through the towering phallic structures.
I am the whir of a lone cricket in your basement.
I am the hole you trip in when you’re running to make the bus in a rainstorm, pushing
the homeless guy out of your way in the process.
I am the wrinkles in the dollar bill in your wallet.
I am the convict picking up your trash out of the oily gutter.
I am the broken twig on the mountain trail.
I am the dog chasing his own tail.
I am the snowball hurtling out of control down the mountainside, picking up random
sheets of snow along the way, changing course with bumps over rocks and coming to a
smashing, splashing stop.
I am the runner stopping to take a breath, stopping to take many breaths, I am the walker.
I am nothing, I am everything.
I am just like you, I am nothing like you.
I am the face in the mirror, the reflection in the lake, the clouds in the sky striving
to form a cohesive image.
I am un-cohesive nature that we place our labels on.
I am a supernova, a world, a continent, a mountain, a tree, a speck of dirt, a molecule,
an atom.
I am.


© Michael Monroe


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