Jan 27, 1964
Mr. Royer slammed the class today. He says all our stories sound alike, so he gave everyone a C. To shake things up, for this assignment we must write a poem. After all the pissing and moaning about a poem, he relented somewhat. We can write whatever we want, but it must include metaphors, fancy language, and—I don’t know how I’m going to do it—not be an event in our lives.
What else is there to life but events?
The sky, greyed with storm clouds, hid the motions of the rain person. Between each drop and within many shadows moved the person who caused that which has no cause. He can be seen walking with his head hidden deep within a cowl, if you only knew how to look.
His emotions so figured his reality that the dullness under yonder willow trees not just clothed him but became him. There he goes now. What! you did not see him? He passed you with a demeanor so vacuous that a reflection of your thoughts continued rather than his form.
The worms that come up for air during the rain are well known to him, as are the solitary street lamps that broadcast man’s ingenuity but not man. He wanders across fields where he hopes no one will be. Lightning strikes where his gaze lingers too long; his look is feared more by him than by those he feels it destroys.
The power of a hundred hydrogen bombs releases him his jaundiced eye. Melancholia responds, releases, and demands. The source of everything and the power of nothing reside in his mind, while he sojourns past your window.
The innocence that infects your card-playing house and the joy you affect are nothing and all. The peripatetic patterns that fluorescent flies follow awaken instincts in this soul wanderer. And in your weather you are he.
Image of Lightning Strike on cover. Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=399330
The assignment was selected by Mensa for their Best of the Bulletin.