Juggling Fire, Blindfolded

Juggling Fire, Blindfolded

by Eric Evans

Selections:
Leave The PearlsJuggling Fire, BlindfoldedWhat Once Is Is Now WasThe MacPherson ThingThe Good PressYour George Bailey Moment

Leave The Pearls

Discard that dress, I want to say
to her, let me peel away the husk
of the day as I peel away your slip,
sliding it past hips in a sudden
rotation, clockwise and spinning
me like a planet off its axis,
free of gravity's tyrannical
pull.
      No, I want to mummer into
her neck, leave the pearls and rings
but lose the rest, lose sight of
time and space and the error of
our ways, let the doorbell chime,
let the phone ring, let dinner
sizzle and burn, let the world
fend for its own inhospitable
self
      Remove, my look suggests,
every last barrier that keeps me
from your magnificence but the
impulse falls short as there are
eyes at the window, a nudge at
the door, a buzz in the air and the
steady howl of hungry mouths yet
to be fed.

Juggling Fire, Blindfolded

As the government of her nerves
falls into open revolt, I have nothing
I'm told, but patience and humor
to combat the mutiny at hand, the
coup of chaos over desire, her
womb palace stormed by the armies
of imbalance with troops along
the border securing the perimeter,
guarding the interior, aware of
the slightest breach, the smallest
advance, each shot across the bow
batted down with haste and force.

As the government of her nerves
sputters and starts and sputters
again with a logic of its own design,
I will dance and sing and juggle
fire, blindfolded, if only for a
momentary pause in the freefall
of her scrambled thoughts, plucking
them with delicacy and care like
negotiations in a minefield, giving
voice to the constituency of each
extremity and limb, searching for
the wiser counsel of her body
politic, grateful for any sense
with the will to present itself.

What Once Is Is Now Was

What once is is now was
what once did is now does
what once wished is now fact
what once whole is now cracked

what once cracked now to mend
what once taken now to tend
what once known now a guess
what once East is now West

what once West now turns North
what once first now comes fourth
what once urgent now on pause
what once simple yields to awe

what once awed now commonplace
what once hidden leaves its trace
what once sour finds its sweet
and what once strange extends to greet

The MacPherson Thing

The MacPherson thing is alive,
an organism to reckon with,
genetic and hard-wired, fused to
her DNA like eye color and blood
type, an heirloom of certainty,
rightness assumed.

The MacPherson thing calls its
own shots, ninety-seven percent
sure of itself and not so concerned
with the other three, of little
consequence with those kinds
of odds to play.

The MacPherson thing doesn't need
popular support, doesn't need
to campaign for your vote, doesn't
need to shake your hand or kiss
your babies although it will
when the spirit moves - and
it often does.

The MacPherson thing is comrade
and enemy, friend and foe, enviable
in surplus yet indifferent to your
envy, goodness and betterment
its frequent cause but exhausting
when you choose to sidestep the
intent of its benevolent aim.

The Good Press

Look, we'll all cause some wreckage
over time, break a tooth or an arm
or a heart, all succumb to our
certain blindness, fall victim
to the good press, believe in our
fractured fairytales.
                              The least we
can do is survey the damage and
claim it as our own, set the chairs
back upright and settle up the
bill, and maybe with time and luck
and grace we can sit in those chairs,
one day,
              at a table heavy with food
and drink and remark on the health
of the fixed tooth or the casted
arm, admire the stitched and faded
scar of the mended heart, the muscle
made all the stronger for the
regrettable abuse.

Your George Bailey Moment

At twenty-three, you'll have your
George Bailey moment and earnestly
promise Mary a lassoed moon, never
once considering the impossibility
of delivery, never once appreciating
what you've just done.

At thirty-three, you'll have that
quiet, unsettled moment of inventory,
the long-coming realization that
there will never be enough rope to
pull the damn thing from the sky,
that the moon will keep its stubborn
distance from your youthful vow,

And at forty-three, you'll finally
get the obvious point, that it was
never the moon that she wanted
but just the moment instead, the
closed eyes and interlocked hands
as you stood beneath and enjoyed
its light all the same.