Where to Sit
I sit on a block of ice,
Water beneath me.
I sit in his house.
To the left and right are years carried by the wind like confetti.
I touch some books that are crawling across the floor.
They grow thinner as they trek, form groups,
I sit outside his house,
Raise my eyes and see the blue sky, white clouds.
He is behind me, criticizing,
“Your beauty has become tears that choke.”
I sit in my own mind,
Remain there for so long
I become a package, a bundle of herbs.
I sit on a wooden fence,
“Mark the boat to find a sunken sword”*
And then return to sit on the block of ice,
The current flowing beneath me.
*This idiom originates from an ancient story of an idiot who drops his sword from a boat, and to recover it, he marks the spot on the boat from which the sword fell, anchors the boat, and dives in (of course he does not find the sword). The story has been interpreted philosophically as a critique of the tendency to apply fixed standards to changing phenomena.
December 28, 1995