Trip the Wire
Poe, in his feverish, alcohol-driven mood
battled himself, but not enough
to save himself--creature that he was!--
before his salvation could do him in.
He couldn't trip the wire.
The real gen trips the wire.
176 keys and 13 circuits trip the wire.
I can feel your skin, your hair,
your lips brushing softly against my cheek.
Come here, come closer, maybe we can
trip the wire.
In an upstairs study, my minds babble on
in a search for Vietnam and an endless argument
amongst themselves that goes nowhere except for maybe
a wild brothel shop on lower Tenth Street and the
place where e.e. cummings hid his capital letters.
They're tripping the wire.
With 7-Up in hand, I went to find the truth
I trekked as one-man band! the flag, the drum and fife.
Many years later, after washing dishes in a broken old hotel,
I woke a sleeping bellboy. "You've the truth of life, pray tell?"
And as my sentences grew longer, and my patience grew shorter,
he said, "Oh, you'll hafta talk to that Zen fella over East of the border."
"With 7-Up in hand, I shall take my leave then,
to find this man who will teach me Zen."
"Hey, waitaminit! Pay your bill!"
"Drink your fill!" and my rhymes grew worse yet still.
Years later, on a mountain in Tibet,
I wrote a letter to a bellboy whom I hadn't forgotten yet.
"Mr. Bellboy," it said, "your story was a crock.
I came this far, searched this long, and found a Yeti on a rock."
My furry traveling companion read this over my shoulder.
He said nothing, only watched, as I tucked it in a folder,
with all the other letters I planned to mail
as soon as I found a post-office.
"My friend," I said, turning to him, "someday you will come to see
that nothing is real, but everything you see is pure reality."
And, as I sipped my 7-Up which turned slowly to a Coke,
his famous Yeti voice finally--finally!--spoke:
"My son, methinks you've tripped the wire."
-- © 1988, W.A. Seaver.