Girdled With Chains


Saying what they want you to say,

Roads passed by, to walk their roads

That would’ve opened, but only opened their doors.

Curses, dreams, schemes ending up in the abyss,

All the Aliases of impoverishment,

And not simply impoverishment, in any particular sense––

But all the eyes of homelessness on your chains,

All the ways you take your mind off poverty

Also on your chains.


Nobody owed you nothing, no matter what was taken,

No matter that everything that could possibly go wrong does,

Knowing upfront that letting go means there’s going to be

More to let go of,

Including all you have yet experienced, but will,

And that you can’t even depend on that,

Only to be left alone,

Falling through loneliness––

Filled with vagrants playing insane instruments,

Earth disguised as machines playing shamans,

Also on your chains.



2 July 2009



[Published in Mantra Winds: Poems 2004-2010.

© 2010 by Jim Cohn.]




Mantra Winds
(MAP Publications, 2010)