Moth

I was arranging the little altar of shells, stones, and incense on my dresser this week and came across a beautiful holographic postcard of a woman flying on a butterfly. I turned the card over and found that I had scrawled this poem on it a year or so ago, dated to around the time when I had just moved into my first house in Echo Park. Upon first reflection, I thought the silly diddy made little sense, but after a couple reads, I get the sliver of a sensation that this poem was about the psychology of running away from yourself via a nomadic lifestyle. Or it’s just a word game.

I was arranging the little altar of shells, stones, and incense on my dresser this week and came across a beautiful holographic postcard of a woman flying on a butterfly. I turned the card over and found that I had scrawled this poem on it a year or so ago, dated to around the time when I had just moved into my first house in Echo Park. Upon first reflection, I thought the silly diddy made little sense, but after a couple reads, I get the sliver of a sensation that this poem was about the psychology of running away from yourself via a nomadic lifestyle. Or it’s just a word game.

“What you see is what you are,”

So I fluttered like a moon-fly with crochet wings

And white elk antennae 

Above the Rorschach blotted paper

Run run run

Los Angeles versus sandbag thighs—

The kind they use to tether down and hold open heavy red velvet curtains at the theater.

“There she goes again, out on the streets again.”

But I thought I could fly,

And I thought I could hear the trees whisper as I passed

So, then, I assumed it must’ve been a dream— 

A seed planted by yellowing chimney smoke

Curling and spiraling, 

A rap-tap-tapping on my windowpane.

Lamentably, I was too shy to let the poor fellow in,

Kind as he may have been, 

so he floated up above Eichler roofs and dissipated

As we all will one find day.

He went in elegant fashion into that great void!

I tip my hat to the smokey chap.

And, to circle back to my initial thought: I truly thought I was a moth.

What costume shall I wear to all tomorrow’s parties?

Pull down the shower curtain and fashion it into great big lily petal wings.

I’ll achieve my dream—just you wait!