On Being Asked What I Thought Of Neruda's "The
When I read poems like Neruda's "The Enigmas,"
I think I ought to buy lots of woodworking tools
and learn to make cabinets, but then
I meet a cabinet maker who makes joints
that fit together like the sections of an orange,
and then I think to sell my tools and learn to fish,
but then I meet a fisherman who knows the fish-roads
of the sea like creaseworn maps,
so I think of selling my nets, which reminds me
of Neruda's "The Enigmas"
so I stick with poems and remember that some of us
swim among the hundreds of mullets spawning together
on cold grassy flats under a windblown grey sky
and that the great whales that breech far out at sea
and sound the darkest depths of spirit-crushing pressure,
make every small creature that swims and spawns
even in the shallowest water, a worthy archetype.