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January 29, 2010

poem: don't live in the cage with your elephant

by sven at 7:00 am

I'd like to dedicate this one to all my art buddies out there who are mired in multi-year projects…

don't live in the cage with your elephant

i have a love for colossal animals
the giraffes and rhinoceroses
with my camera
i go to Africa all the time
hunting thunderous beauty

but to bring a pachyderm
back to America
is a Herculean affair
i arrived by airplane in a wink
transport back
is four months by boat
on a heaving dark ocean

posters go up
and the crowd murmurs with expectation
but suddenly there's no coin
for opening day banners
in horror you spend every nickel
trying to figure out
what this damned thing eats

and it turns out that what it eats
is time
not by the bushel
but by the year
consuming your earthly body
like only the most ravenous calendar can

proper care and feeding
requires dawn to day-end attention
the would-be zookeeper sets up residence
in the cage beside his capture
ever attending to
its hunger, its exercise, its boredom

you've got the elephant keeper's blues
as it slowly sinks in
just how much bigger
this creature is than you
so lithe and wild on another continent
now the insight:
the bigger the animal
the more excrement it produces

tonight i think i want to go home
to sleep in my own bed
tired of sleeping with my broom
and janitor’s hat
soaking in a stale smell
on these bales beside the behemoth

tonight i'd like to dream
of other dreams

November 19, 2009

(This one ought to help illuminate new year's resolutions a little, too… i.e. "I will tend my elephants.")

posted by sven | January 29, 2010 7:00 AM | categories: poetry