prageeta sharma

 

BACKGROUND

 

Mind you, or mind the mind—

Did it occur to you—that it did so many things at once?

Its battle lies mostly in convincing us to feel good

That thinking is always a bit uncomfortable.

“I could be doing something,” it said out loud.

Other people learn the truth. I forgot each time, each time I worried a bit more.

Other people mine the importance of, the value in, great books, good literature.

I, too, regard it highly—So high that I can’t reach the shelf.

Yet, things come to me that can’t be helped,

I read about the brain in the Sunday New York Times,

I read about writing from people I despise but then when I keep reading,

I can’t help but find them romantic and see how they participated in a whole era,

they made history, they invited me into the landscape—

And I’m the recipient of everything they’ve done.

Perhaps there is fear in discovering a book:

There are many things that can happen

when the ideas are brought to the center

for a confrontation with several wants and desires listed.

I don’t know if I am fighting my impulses to join them.

 

 

BE MY FOREGROUND

 

Travel from one place to another so that a day is old

and French words for sleep are cheerful and festive.

I worry that all the fun will kill me

like a good playing card, a dance card,

a dramatic card, a race card,

a baseball card, and a chairman’s

grab at my linen underclothes.

For an intense lamp is not the sun.

A church, go there. Here is where faith lives.

A temple. Here is where devotion washes.

A sand dune is two bodies.

Made for the kitchen, made for drink,

made for the reader, made for life,

topological, having no outside, I fear

or inside, a province of smallness,

and how I cling to your end.

Here by a wreck of a road.