Then I Knew Now I Know

there was an answer to the questions I found
along the way always nearby around
the next bend of yet another conversation
on the next page of the next text
the question I found could be answered
early on I had to learn to listen
too impatient to unfold the speech
tucked tightly into other conversations
I attempted to speak but words fell
from my hands like wet rocks into sand
then when I felt I could follow the flow
the multi-valent and kaleidoscopic words diverged
holding one strand level became an endless quest
side stories pursued closely only looped
loosely into larger conspiratorial patterns
I ranted to anyone polite enough to nod
their head so caught in what I read
I failed to hear the sedimentary grit
in the words I spit forth my ears clotted
like Odysseus’ sailors oblivious to sirens
I find it hard now not to hear the whispers
beneath the constant chatter between books
scattered across the floor friends met
while shopping at the store and my thoughts
incessantly shouting be quiet listen listen
(November 2011)

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