Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Moment of Clarity

After reading some of Franz Wright's poems, I went to the library on campus and checked out The Beforelife and IllLit. There is this wonderful poem near the end of The Beforelife, which gave me a fresh new perspective on my life. For years, I've done damaged to my body by using illegal substances and most recently drinking heavily. But there comes a point in your life when you've had enough. You know that if things don't change you won't last long. This was never a concern of mine until I’ve recently found out that I have high blood pressure. I’m 27 years old; my father had a heart attack in his forty’s. I seem to be going down the same path, a road to my demise and utter failure. But after reading Wright’s poem, “Clarification” I experienced what AA calls a moment of clarity, when things make sense for once, your mind uncluttered and able to finally think about your future. It also made me realize my impermanence, something I finally experienced and not just some abstract idea. This is real for me. So, I’d like to share this poem with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


Someone once told me about a Buddhist
monk who on awakening

each morning said, “Master!”
Then he would answer

“Yes, master?” And then
in a loud voice demand

“Become sober!”
Listen to what I am saying,

but listen especially
to what I’m not saying—

Of all the powers of love,
this: it is possible

to die; which means
it’s possible to live.

Now it is possible to die
Without being mad or afraid.

© Franz Wright published in The Beforelife

*Note: Franz Wright and Louise Gluck will be giving a reading in town later this month. It’s funny how things work out. I hope I can meet him and maybe talk for a bit. I’ll keep you updated.


Scott Glassman said...

what city/town do you live in?

i would love to see Wright in person, maybe i can find his reading schedule somewhere

i also was Wright-ized upon my introduction to his work

Scott Glassman said...
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the amplified bard said...

i live in texas. i'll give an update on Wright's reading. thanks for stopping by.