November 28, 2007

Constraint

Preferably, life slowly erodes like
lying on a neatly-made bed, back
aching just a little, petting the old cat
before our nap. Yesterday I read

with amusement about Bokudo, an 18th
Century sword-sharpener and writer
whose favorite subject was drowsiness.
His fame stems from one haiku concerning

new leaves of a spring morning.
It concludes, no wonder Iím sleepy.
My buddy also laughed, but pointed
out that, given his job, Bokudo couldnít

nod off during long hours at work and expect
to keep all his fingers. Two weeks ago,
gazing aimlessly toward trees, I
sliced my thumb cleaning a pocket knife.

—Paul Watsky
____
An earlier version of this poem appeared in a set of three entitled "Relative
Unknowns" published in the chapbook More Questions Than Answers
(tel-let, 2001)

Posted by dwaber at November 28, 2007 03:37 PM