CONSIDERING METAL MAN (AS A TEMPLATE FOR WORLD PEACE)
The sum of evil would be greatly diminished if men could only learn to sit quietly in their rooms.
He sits in Union Station so that you don’t have to,
Covered in metallic paint, not moving, like applied
Pascal taken one step publicly further. The tourists
Patronize him; put money in his gold painted fedora,
And encourage him not to explain. The homeless wish
They had his strangeness, his calculation, his economy
Of gesture. The writers know he is a fleshed out
Character worthy of 200 pages or more, a catatonic
Knight-errant appearing everywhere in full armor.
The philosophers see him as a meta-symbol,
A shimmering sage who sits better than the Buddha.
Look how he sits and stares, they say. Observe how
Nobody dies because of this.
—from Rattle #22, Winter 2004
Tribute to Poets Writing Abroad
Erik Campbell: “One afternoon in the summer of 1994 I was driving to work and I heard Garrison Keillor read Stephen Dunn’s poem ‘Tenderness’ on The Writer’s Almanac. After he finished the poem I pulled my car over and sat for some time. I had to. That is why I write poems. I want to make somebody else late for work.” (web)