The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Jamey Hecht

Mania

I see men as trees, walking.

                        –Mark 8:24

 

 

My sentient light, that was extinct, has come back on.

I rise toward the summit of the night, drilling through the dark.

Now like the blind man of Mark 8:24, I get abundant sight:

I peer between the buried roots of trees below the water table,

scan the flooded grave-shafts in the hills; touch Dante’s skull.

Inside an airless tomb I mount the skeletal roan gelding of the King.

 

Numbers, fresh from hidden currents of the sea, thrive in my mouth.

They glaze my spirit’s folded surface, a single wet square mile.

Without a word, I know the inmost thoughts of each and all;

discern the constellations in July’s blue afternoon. I overhear

dolphins sing a hemisphere away, about their families, sardines,

shapes of various cold eddies in their neighborhoods.

 

Living jellies undiscovered in the deepest sea

range up and down my ken. I walk straight on

through checkpoints like a ghostly dog; I’m un-

detectable; I see through miles of concrete.

Ordnance does no harm; bullets cross the region of me

unimpeded. I live on, despite the snipers’ perfect aim.

I am localized in space as if I had a body, but no body’s here.

 

Dawn and evening come and go; days, and weeks of days, I watch

new statecraft’s every nuance, empires at each other’s throats;

great telescopes like Keck, Mt. Wilson, Palomar and Lick,

the Very Large Array; the sea-slug’s neural network flashing green;

and as my spectral arm extends directly through a yard of books,

the pages yield their essence to my hand, until I’m found.

 

 

 

JAMEY ADAM HECHT  LMFT, PhD is a psychotherapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, and a Clinical Associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Hecht is the author of four books: Plato’s Symposium: Eros and the Human Predicament (Twayne, 1999); a translation, Sophocles’ Three Theban Plays: Antigone, Oedipus the Tyrant, Oedipus at Colonus (Wordsworth, 2004); Bloom’s How To Write About Homer (Chelsea, 2010); and Limousine, Midnight Blue (Red Hen Press, 2009), a poetry collection. See www.jameyhecht.com.

 

 

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