Aesthetic Realism Online Library Poetry by Louis Dienes


    “What do we want to hear in this world? How is it that we’re afraid to hear what we desire most to hear? I Asked for It is about this. The lines are of a smoldering delicacy; rotund in metrical dreaminess.”

Eli Siegel
From Preface to Personal & Impersonal

    I Asked for It

    Now while
    Paratroopers, sipping glasses of red and white wine,
    Drift on their parachutes
    Through the chambers
    Of the Churches of God;
    While books with fluttering pages
    Vaporize into a fragrant mist,
    Which lifts off the roofs of houses;
    While small boys stoke fires in suburban homes;
    Take my hand,
    Pull up a chair with the other one,
    And try to tell me of
    The nature of reality.

    If the salts precipitate from my blood while you talk,
    Making little scraping noises in my veins and arteries,
    As my blood circulates;
    Or if my shoes
    Shrivel up and decide
    To be pleased frogs;
    Or if my arms
    Become metallic and clunk hollowly,
    As I lean my elbows on the table;
    Take heed and talk louder and more interestingly
    So that my ears should burn and my breast burst
    With the loveliness and movingness
    Of your words.

    I am prepared for whatever
    May come out of your mouth--
    I have spent years in preparing myself;
    And if I prove unable to take it,
    At least say that I asked for it,
    As they throw me into a vacant lot
    And drive back to town,
    Yawning with boredom
    At the job
    Of discarding my body.

From Personal & Impersonal
© 1959 by Terrain Gallery

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