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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Poem in the Form of a Short Public Announcement Inscribed on the Side of a Cardboard Box

One of a writer's most self-ennobling conceits is that the right words in the right order possess transformative power, capable of turning the mundane into the sublime (and vice versa I suppose) simply through the storyteller's charm and/or the poet's enlivening touch.  Thus it is that novelists take pride in framing their stories from mere drollery and poets compose their most heartfelt odes in the form of a shopping list.  It is very much in that spirit that I offer up the following poem in the form of a short public announcement meant to be inscribed on the side of a plain cardboard box ...

I come to you tonight
Perched on no platform
Other than myself

(although please 
keep in mind some
further disassembly
may still be required)

Now please sit quietly
And contemplate what bearing
This might possibly have
On you and yourself

*  *  *  *  * 

I think it only fair to dedicate this poem to the editors of Shambala Press who several years ago declined to publish my Monkey King translation ostensibly on the grounds that I lacked a suitable platform - a word and concept now very much in vogue.  It's really only thanks to that stinging rejection that I have subsequently had occasion to learn so much about platforms for poetry and sutras, such as they are, which has better prepared me for the upcoming publication of the Monkey King book.  Much as it may hurt, sometimes rejection proves to be the best remedy for what really ails and afflicts us.   

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