Monday, April 26, 2010

Carolyn Kizer

On a Line from Julian

I have a number and my name is dumb.
Living for death, this paradox I take:
Such a barbarian have I become.

Because historians are growing numb,
They will not say we love what we forsake,
To be a number when a name is dumb.

Our leaders urge us further to succumb.
Our privy hearts in unison must ache,
Says a barbarian. Have I become

A vessel that is empty of aplomb
To ornament the century's mistake,
And be a number when my name is dumb?

Subsisting on a drop of blood, a crumb,
When wine is gone, and bread too hard to break,
A small barbarian have I become.

I can be private in delirium,
Indifferent to the noises that I make.
I have a number, and my name is dumb.
Such a barbarian have I become!

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