Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, UNWANTED MEMORY, by CLARENCE MAJOR



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UNWANTED MEMORY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My memory of myself
Subject(s): Memory


My memory of myself
has become a drawbridge
to ancient catcalls
left echoing in my brains.
I was the victim of a jihad.
I pause before plunging in --
once inside there is no elbowroom.
Inside me
there's a catatonic ape
trying to get a grip
on his mate and his failure
is respectable without
being a violation
of Nature. It is not
like working for the film
industry: he does not
simply plug along for fear
of not getting another gig.
Part of the script has to do
with a churning mixture
of bad memory
and using one's finger
when the dike is about
to show its tendency.
Not to blame, I forgot
what I was going to say.
Oh, yes -- see this window?
I'm going to take it,
unscrew the frame,
and ram my head through the glass.
I will march with it
around my neck like this
along the river down
to the drawbridge and stop
at the dike. Here,
I will have no trouble
remembering what to do.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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