ROBERT JOE STOUT

THE OLD PHILOSOPHER AT SIX A.M.


The dream emerges with him and he is young,
clear-eyed, smiling—a moment only
then sleep peals away …in dreams I’m always young…

Lies back, eyes closed …dreams mix all the moments
of one’s life, one’s thoughts, hopes, desires
into accidental patterns…
Hears

a sparrow chirp, a passing car accelerate
so much is accident, coincidence:
minds creating order out of chaos

invented gods, established rules, microcosms
within the undulating mass but didn’t
change the chaos, only made it seem

like something else…
Lulled back towards sleep
…we see not what we see but what we think…
A woman slips her hand around his neck,

he smiles …an accident? Coincidence..?
Hears music and a distant mocking laugh.


THE OLD PHILOSOPHER, SEVEN A.M.


Chinese lanterns sway above the silhouettes
of dancers as he turns …where
in hell am I..?
Where a door had been

he senses grayness …how did I..? Years
before, the Lacandon, he’d lost his guide,
wandered for two days before they’d found him

 …lost… Silhouettes  now trees wavering
in gusts of wind …is this the same..?
Trees in the Lacandon had seemed to talk;

he’d strained to hear, to understand,
and sensed not heard …you’re but a spark,
lit then gone…
  Numbed by enormity
looks up. Dawn absorbs the Lacandon.


ROBERT JOE STOUT: is a Mexico City College graduate who works as an freelance journalist in Oaxaca, Mexico. His poetry has appeared in over 200 journals and magazines, including The Beloit Poetry Journal, Slant, offcourse, The New York Times and Poem.

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