The poem below is the fourth in the second half of Sine Wave which leads from a neutral mood to a manic state as it ascends and intensifies. This poem was previously published in 2 River View. I think it is mainly the intensity of the language, a language seeking to capture light, that gives this poem a manic air, along with the rather freedom-flaunting diction. No, it does not reflect my present mood, but that is of no consequence in art. For me to be out-of-synch with my art as I post it makes me more an artist than not. My works exist apart from me and my current mood cycle. If I have been successful, my poems achieve an existence entirely separate from me or even any consideration of my personality or biography.
I think I wrote this in Oklahoma while attending an Oral Roberts University conference on "Christianity and Medicine." I must have been 24. Don't ask me about the conference or Oral. I did visit the prayer tower, however. Apparently Oral thought the higher we pray, the quicker we got to God. He really should have leased a room in the Sears Tower IMHO.
Still depressed, and thinking about Oral Roberts' prayer tower just makes it worse.
Telephone Wires at Dusk
These wires, iced at sunset with duskfire,
have a brightness beside themselves,
their taut lengths humming with unknown conversations
lipping their secrets electrically
through the copper entrails
of the black rubber body,
transfigured at twilight into phosphorescence
of brightwire, a thin white welder’s rod
of incandescent tongues.
-------------------------As if the light could see
the cold particulars passing between ears
at this second dawn, dying of day
and night’s birth; and if the sun
could expose it all by omniscient heliotelepathy—
and if the words were fire laced with the salt of reason,
leaving the burnt scent of compassion
in the air—
-------------If but the words,
the words between men I mean,
were true as these flaming wires,
how beautiful these transient fires would be:
fit companions of stars.
(published in 2 River View)
(click link for original publication)