Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai: Inkwells

by Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai
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tonight, i imagine
each of my fingers is a pen
drawing from a never-ending
inkwell, the colors from pinky
to thumb are lavender, goldenrod,
scarlet, pearl, black - the blackest
of all blacks

no more fumbling in my bag
on the subway or shaking
and throwing out bic after
bic, no more hardened crest
of flesh on my middle
finger, or smear of ink
across the side of my fist

it will be as i imagine it -
ink flowing from fingertips
like moisture gathering, the
act of writing becomes the act of
massaging, the fingertips
soft and round and bulbous at
one moment and then hardening
into a piercing tip the next –

from the inside out, the
nib comes, the pleasure of ink
draining onto the notebook
page, the subway bench,
the bathroom stall door, the
base of the statue, the newspaper
bundle, the lovers’ thoughts

it will be as i have imagined
it - my secret weapon constantly
at will, ethereal, immortal,
impishly half-human and half-
beast, like something winged or
clawed or scaled or poisonous,

i slide the sippers of the inkwells
from their shaft when necessary,
retract them to slink about
my daily business

it will be as i have imagined it -

my pen and hand as one –

words emancipated from their muffled
hives within my brain and body

free to ride the earth’s
tantalizing circuitry
of delible surfaces

free to live

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