I am a re-kindler, a plagiarist it seems
of other’s thoughts, taken as my own
Today, just today in the car, an illustration
Something was said of dreamlike quality and
I forget the example, perhaps an angle
of the sun or both thinking the same thought
and I mused that perhaps death was merely
waking from the dream
I drove a while and came back to it
I really liked the ambiguity of that thought,
said I may want to work on it a bit,
find a place to give it length and breadth
Been done said she, already commented upon
and I was stunned, really are you sure?
Been done and I pondered, is original thought
as rapturous, if it’s been done
For surely there is rapture here for me
in this imagining of death
as waking from the dream of life
But I’m a reader and it’s been theorized
that every perceived sense is cast in memory
My god, it’s made of me an architect
of other men’s labored drawings,
a re-kindler, blowing breath on old coals
Is nothing new, can an egg be un-scrambled,
am I leafing idly through other men’s pages?
Reversing Vonnegut, lifting a phrase of Doctorow,
to slide it between the slices of my sandwich?
I reject that, for who would paint, having seen Picasso
or sculpt in the same world as the Pieta?
It’s a damned good thought, this view of death
and I may work on it yet, but still . . .
This poem is included in
THE SMELL OF TWEED
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