Friday, February 03, 2006

habits: waiting, more waiting

Why wait when not absolutely forced to do so?

Here is Marilyn Hacker's poem. Feels like an indictment. And I think I'm pretty glad about that.

Ghazal: Waiting

What follows when imagination’s not inspired by waiting,
body and spirit rendered sick and tired by waiting?

Wrinkles, stock market losses, abcessed teeth, rejection slips:
some of the benefits acquired by waiting.

Taught from childhood that patience is a virtue,
she thought that she could get what she desired by waiting.

History, a child at the chapter’s cusp
can only find out what transpired by waiting.

Does anyone escape alienated labor’s
cycle of being hired, exploited, made redundant, fired, by waiting?

He rolls a pen like a chess-piece between thumb and forefinger:
he won’t emerge from the morass in which he’s mired by waiting.

If poetry’s imagination’s daughter,
didn’t someone say that she was sired by waiting?

She raised her children, wrote at dawn, ignored the factions,
arrived at being read, remembered and admired by waiting.

Once a pair of lovers downed shots in a Chelsea bar.
their nerves and fantasies hot-wired by waiting.

Sweating, shackled and blindfolded in a basement,
will I get out, the hostage (of whom) inquired, by waiting?