It should have changed my life. I watched him
Hunched over his work, hours spent
Imparting tiny grains of colored sand with intricate thoughts
On the ground, drawing blue flowers, red flowers
One giant flower covering the ground. It was so beautiful
I would have given anything to roll the whole thing up
And take it home with me.
But the wind took it minutes
After it was done, smearing great swaths of color against itself until
It was nothing but a disfigured, slightly grayer smudge against the blondness of the desert sand.
The little man stood up, smiled at me, and walked slowly away.
It should have changed my life. I should have taken it away with me
His lack of artistic conceit, his willingness to just
Let his day disappear in the pursuit of beauty, but just the beauty of the moment.
Be here now, and only now. Be here now here now here now here now.
I fully intended to go home and erase everything I had ever written
That day, that week, Siberian year, in my life, because filled as I was
With the artist’s apparent satisfaction at the act of creation
And only in the act of creation, I figured that taking pleasure in just writing
Should be enough for me, too. I sat
At my desk for hours, staring at page after page of hastily-scribbled poems,
Notes , stories, books almost started and those almost finished
And couldn’t do it. I failed. I wanted to. I want to be free
Of these suitcases of loose paper, immolate my dreams
Dissolve the part of me that was saved in those notes
But I haven’t the strength to let go.