from [Practicing Vigilance]
I’m looting the altars of my former forgiveness
like a cacophony of snow blowers
I’m between making dinner plans
and opening a can of sunshine onto the supernal room
standing in a very quiet desert
forcing the mean soliloquies out
with their un-simulated volcanic ash
hardening my exact replica.
I used to put a miniature rosebush
in the ground each year
to counteract my squalor.
Don’t tell me that definition of madness,
doing the same thing over again etcetera.
The definition of madness
is a certain enthusiasm, then there has
to be another person there
to not share in it—who is oppressed by it
who can only stare into it.
Tell it to the bluebird rustling over my head.
Tell it to a satellite orbiting in its delusion of being a moon.
I’m coaxing the black bull out of my mouth
with a red flag and a beer. I’m constructing
out of my faulty genes, my last sentence, my last thing
which addresses the dilemma obliquely:
we shall perceive our own pain in others.
And we shall know if we are capable of loving them.
Bianca Stone is the author of several chapbooks, including Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Argos Books), and the poetry-comic I Want To Open The Mouth God Gave You Beautiful Mutant (Factory Hollow Press). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Poetry 2011, Conduit, and Tin House. Bianca Stone is also a visual artist and her collaboration with Anne Carson, Antigonick, a new kind of comic book and translation, was published in spring of 2012 by New Directions.