Untitled (Gym City Towing), Pulaski, VA
--part 1 of CK Williams poem "The Foundation"
Watch me, I’m running, watch me, I’m dancing, I’m air;
the building I used to live in has been razed and I’m skipping,
hopping, two-footedly leaping across the blocks, bricks,
slabs of concrete, plaster, and other unnameable junk . . .
Or nameable, really, if you look at the wreckage closely . . .
Here, for instance, this shattered I-beam is the Bible,
and this chunk of mortar? Plato, the mortar of mind,
also in pieces, in pieces in me, anyway, in my mind . . .
Aristotle and Nietzsche, Freud and Camus and Buber,
and Christ, even, that year of reading “Paradise Lost,”
when I thought, Hell, why not? but that fractured, too . . .
Kierkegaard, Hegel, and Kant, and Goffman and Marx,
all heaped in the foundation, and I’ve sped through so often
that now I have it by heart, can run, dance, be air,
not think of the spew of intellectual dust I scuffed up
when in my barely broken-in boots I first clumped through
the sanctums of Buddhism, Taoism, Zen, and the Areopagite,
even, whose entire text I typed out—my god, why?—
I didn’t care, I just kept bumping my head on the lintels,
Einstein, the Gnostics, Kabbalah, Saint This and Saint That . . .