posted November 22, 2023
David Hockney’s drawing of a camera’s “cyclops’ perspective vs. our Cubist or real-world perspective

[h/t Austin Kleon, post “Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees” here. Also inspired by quotation from AF: “My Higher Power can see everything in all directions, and I need that wisdom today.”]

Cyclops: Since you have a lot of eyes,
And I only have the one,
I need your wisdom.
I don’t know where I’m going.

All-Seeing: OK, I’m not busy. Happy to help.
But what if you let go of navigating altogether?
What if you simply trusted the stars to give you
The next GPS co-ordinant only when it’s time to
Take a turn? 

Cyclops: I wouldn’t get as much done.
But maybe less needs doing than I think.
Gone would be my cherished future agenda hegemony.
It would be fun to see where the stars take me. But I have so much 
Stuff, and I don’t know what to take on the journey. In fact, I 
Can hardly get around my own house because of the layers
Of stuff. Which is why I want to get out of here.

All-Seeing: What if you valued space more than not-space?
What if you paid for space in the form of re-homing
Everything that isn’t truly necessary—which might turn out to be

Cyclops: I would lie on the carpet and rest. 
I would stand up next to my empty walls
Stretch out my arms. Hear my voice echo.
Though I don’t always know what to say. 
What should I say?

All-Seeing: What if you told only the truth?
If it isn’t true, it doesn’t come out of your mouth,
Not even a polite lie of omission?
Also, you’d have to tell the guy his fly is down.

Cyclops: I’d stop saying, OK, that’s fine with me.
I’d have to say, I don’t know.
I also don’t know about that.

I feel several ways at once, and 
It’s hard for me to even talk about it.

I don’t want to talk about it.

You’ve just made an assumption 
About a group of people you know
Nothing about.

I’m lonely. I’m hungry. I’m too tired 
To be here right now. I’m so angry that
Articulation is impossible. I can’t help you.

All-Seeing: Let’s hang out some more. 
Cyclops: I love you.

For the month of November, I write a poem a day to support the efforts of the Center for New Americans. Please support my efforts by contributing to this wonderful organization via my pledge page.

The Comments

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  1. This is absolutely beautiful!… The conversation speaks so eloquently to where I find myself in my life at the moment. Letting go of all the mental chatter has proved more challenging than letting go of doing. And yes, my higher power has been trying to get me to take on the task of re-homing lots of my stuff so I can create a cozy atmosphere for my present version of myself. Letting go is so scary, and exhilarating! Great piece!

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