Ground to cloud
No countdown necessary.
You’ve spent your whole life tying your key to a kite string and waiting for a storm. Think of all the time you’ve wasted. This bolt moves upward. I’ve been storing up this electricity for days. It’s easy, I tell you, but your eyes are still blank, heavy with the unimaginative glaze of eternal postponement.
But forget the clouds for a minute. I can build us a ship that will take us far out to sea, where we can set it on fire and then try hard not to drown. Let’s do it! I can see now that caution is what will kill us all, not risk. Caution is what they prescribe when they see their own high stakes reflected in your eyes, when they can smell their own deaths on your skin. Caution is what they urge when you have the audacity to call yourself an artist – the most incautious word – and then build castles out of cold, empty air. Their caution tells them to cut down more trees so their castle will be bigger and better than yours. Their caution makes their tired eyes encounter your flying buttresses as saggy and indiscreet. Their caution stands alone under stone archways five stories high and announces, “You are only hurting yourself.”
Caution sits on its hands when it should be speaking in tongues.
Look me in the eyes and feel a haiku forming in your mouth in spite of your best efforts to stop it. Press your sonnet into my skin with the palms of your hands. Watch your favorite pat phrase melt into prose around your ankles. Listen as your leaden mission statement falls to the floor with a dull thud, then graze my lips with wild adjectives you didn’t think you knew.
Feel your body rising up against the weight of your caution. Now you understand inside your arteries how little you have left to lose. Now you feel in your temples how much you are already losing, how much you destroy with your polite words and careful steps. It’s amazing, really, how long you’ve built with such crude materials. Can you taste the pity on my tongue?
This hour is calling you to make a fucking effort.
Because cautious sailors are not allowed to board my ship. I check their papers and if they aren’t written in iambic pentameter, all dreams of distant shores are extinguished in a single breath. These seas are too violent for your blood, I tell them. You want firm ground under your feet. I can see that clearly now.
I don’t blame them at all. Sometimes it’s better to sail alone anyway. As I look back at the shore, I feel compassion for their empty hearts, taking the long walk home. Soon the smoke from their fireplaces will rise helplessly into the night air, an omen of their cautious plans to burn down the world.