Thursday, June 03, 2004


As introduction to this poem, I wrote:
The next poem is a cycle with no beginning and no end. The point at which it starts is not random, however. This is the point where it is noticed that something beautiful has been lost, or more correctly, is slipping away.

I do not believe that it, this beauty, ever really slips away. Our inner selves convince us,however, that it has. I shan't go into that here, though.
To prove that [the poem] cycles, go back to the start when you reach the end. Do not pause. It should appear to be like a flattened glove or sphere; like you see in some maps of the world.

This was sort-of inspired by "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance." But, nonetheless, it came from within me. To set the record straight, it is not drug-induced or -related.

. . . Quality is failing me
where once I was sailing free
locked in a world of windows
I cannot feel from where the wind blows
And can only hear their rattling pane
only watch the advancing rain
aware that the senses lie
gazing cautiously with a questioning eye

I look to the future, in my past
hoping the past in my future doesn't last,
from my platform - a speck of the present,
a way-station to rest where rest isn't.
I won't say I'm lost, perhaps a bit tired
of fighting through the space in which I'm mired.

Fleeting moments of insanity
as control breaks down and loses me
asking why too many times.
Reading what between the lines?
To my back, a black cloud creeps
somewhere ahead, a faint light seeps.

As my physical funtion sleeps
my frient soft and gently weeps
only for himself, I am sure
for we are separated by this glass door.
With mere sight as comunication,
we will not share in revelation.
Nor will we share in inspiration
but only share reitteration.
And taste a foul degradation.

The signal breaks. I lose the station
Once more nakedly alone
sinking like a weighted stone.
temptations tugging at my laces,
I turn to stare into their faces.
A cold, electric shock strikes out.
With the blow, I scream and shout,
"Release me, cut the bands, release me."
Where will the missing, dented piece by?

On my knees, blindly crawling
Stand ye up, now, cease your stalling.
I heave my chest to catch my breath
It's much too cold, I'll catch my death.
Strong arms wrap me in a blanketm
gone before there's time to thank it.
The ceiling's high, the floor is low.
How I'm suspended, I do not know.

It suddenly occurs to me:
I'm not suspended but sailing free
throughout a vast and open place
no windows, nor ceilings, only space.
All else is nothing but illusion
a manifested, vile intrusion.
Distractionless, I plainly see
existence of pure quality.
And for a second I beleive
that I will never have to leave.
But images reform the maze
my vision melts into the haze . . . (return to start)

from Confusion: a finer distinction
by Michael R. Martin c.1979

This poem was inspired by my reading of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, who wrote:

"Quality, or its absence, doesn't reside in either the subject or the object . . . (At) the moment of pure quality, there is no subject and there is no object."
"Quality isn't something you lay on top of subjects and objects . . . Real quality must be the source of the subjects and objects. . . "

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