on the sublime
by Roy Miki
a poem does not beg for forgiveness, it’s not like real life,
not a case of relationships gone awry, its social
innuendoes are not a matter of secrets told in privacy.
once the consideration of intent is misplaced, once it
was a misdemeanour to forego the forelorn.
memory is a stranger, a maverick sound that crowds out
noise, the ease of its deployment is dependent on the size
of the ache.
when it drops into a sullied lap.
i hesitate to use the first person in this instance, a binge
of bebop is no ticket to oblivion, the causal routes
are dogged with yelping signatures with nowhere to sign.
the sojourner notwithstanding.
"we" listened at the fork in the road, "i’ve heard that
before." the clause was held in perpetuity.
cacophonous airwaves are all the rage, the rollycoaster on
overdrive dallies then engages in tumult, fear is driven
deeper into the social debt of syntax controls and
formations that giggle on freeway billboards.
if its hem is showing.
"i wander by the corner store, gazing at the figures
winking back." the encounter has ripple effects
that accumulate and announce the dispatch, the few who are
deaf to tonal variations listen to the heat waves instead.
the transportation wins approval.
when logic fails, logic hails a cab. "we" cruise the early
morning city streets, the headlines as headlights, a
concept dying on the dashboard.
This poem originally appeared in Canadian Literature #163 (Winter 1999), Asian Canadian Writing. (pg. 78 - 79)