Poem: Take Down the Universe

(Note: I’m presently editing a book written 1997-98, Open Doors, preparing it for publication, and came across this poem that seems oddly and utterly relevant to this moment in our global history, and descriptive of something that seems to be taking place even if we ourselves neglect zoning back to a regenerative zero.)

TAKE DOWN THE UNIVERSE

Take down the universe bit by bit,
dismantle its brute manifestos,
cancel the President’s breakfast in the
Van Buren Room, on the Roosevelt table, by the
Zachary Taylor fireplace,
demote the ambitious CEO pinstripe by pinstripe,
unthreading his intricate
signature on checks and contracts with a
similar but reverse flourish,

call in all Greek fishing boats, with or
without catch, the handsome young
oarsmen dreaming of buxom taverna
waitresses in scoop-neck blouses, whistling,

call back all executive orders: Buy! Sell!
Liquidate! Kill!
And
erase that rat-like look of satisfaction in the
eyes of the slavish underlings who would
love to carry them out,

return all glasses, broken or unbroken, to
The Management, lipstick or not
on their rims, drinks finished or
unfinished,

let all fruits and vegetables picked for
world consumption
return to their stems,
tree boughs, stalks, branches,
twinkling again in the respectable
rawness of real sunlight,

return all zoo animals to their natural habitats,
lemurs, wild-eyed, amazed and
a little disoriented to be
back home instead of in
concrete cages with one ramp and a
single-nailed tree bough,

let the high and outrageously higher notes
return to their sopranos, their mezzo sopranos, their
coloraturas with their grueling
study and practice since childhood,
return each painstaking note to its
silent source under the larynx’s unknown
grottos and reservoirs,

return the diamonds, zirconium and
all dubious emeralds in reality true
gems back to their
earthy beds, cool to the cheek of them,
covered over again by the sediment of time,

whirl all planetary motions back and
back into the oblong serene, the
octagonal octave of undressed
joy before the unstopping gaze of firstness,
everything fresh, new, before stretching, before
first heartbeat-ticks,

it’s over, it’s time to just stand still, let all
worlds slam back into their generating
chests, heartbone
serenade, voice dumb,
mind vacant as the North Pole,
just the tiny sound of the scrunch of
clean snow underfoot, the

darkness blowing back onto our faces like the
winds of discovery when the great
explorers rounded bends and saw
Victoria Falls for the
first time, the Pacific Ocean, the
first teenage kiss on a
back porch late
September, brisk
in the chill air of oncoming winter,

let the whole thing fall back into itself, fold
up into its carrying case across
illimitable stretches of space, let

Johnny the young artilleryman carry it, carefully,
between land mines, let it
down slowly, let it very

slowly and carefully down.

_____________________
12/12/1997 (from Open Doors, in preparation)

About danielabdalhayymoore

Poet, artist, collagist, publisher, hoping to save a little bit of the world through ecstatic utterance... ordered in balanced lines and unpremeditated images...
This entry was posted in ABDAL-HAYY'S POETRY. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Poem: Take Down the Universe

  1. Aled Idris Start says:

    Beautiful.
    Thank you.
    Wasalam
    Idris

    Like

  2. Adam Young says:

    I am not a practicing Jew, but I have spent some time involved in Judaism while growing up. Something about this poem reminds me of the Jewish laws on Shabbat: An attempt to rest from the act of creation, and spend some time on meditation and reflection. This seems somewhat well timed with the Yom Kippur holy day: A day of atonement. A day of at-one-ment. The logical extension of this taking down is returning to the time before life, before space, the initial big bang of creation. And then you return us to the present, to the wars that ravage our lands and the young lives defined by their involvement, and make us realize why it is that we need to unwind, to take down, to reflect.

    Like

  3. souvenirsandscars says:

    Salaam,

    That was beautiful, mashAllah. You have a gift 🙂

    Thanks for sharing,

    S&S

    Like

  4. salik06 says:

    OU ARE UNIQUE

    OUT OF HIS VAST BEING

    YOUR NAME IS SCENTED

    WITH HIS SECRET PERFUME

    NEVER LOST AMONG BILLIONS

    OR TRILLIONS OF NUMBERS

    THIS WORLD IS A DRAMA

    A FILM A HISTORICAL WRECKAGE

    A DRUNKEN NIHILISTIC AGE

    FREE MARKET FORCES

    FACELESS HEARTLESS

    A MATRIX GRAND OPERA

    AMAZING- A PATH APPEAR

    WHEN THE RED SEA DRIED UP

    THREATENED WITH ANNIHILATION

    ONE FORGET GOD BY DESTROYING

    HIS LETTERS, WORDS AND BOOKS

    REPLACE IT WITH NUMBERS !

    Like

  5. Magda M Ali says:

    slowly and carefully down…
    love it. mA
    ws.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s