July 1, 2010

Ernest Hilbert


Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the
collector’s passion borders on the chaos of
               —Walter Benjamin

I don’t collect them. They just accumulate,
Tower higher into shoddy columns,
Climbing weirdly like crystal formations
Or pillars of coral. The thought of their weight
Crushes, their long summers and snow. They weigh tons.
They slide onto the stove, under the fridge,
Into the tub. They prop open windows,
Serve as coasters. They have traveled with me
And slept beside me. They fashion a bridge
To vanished rooms, sorrows, and suns. Lord knows
Why I haul them from city to city.
I slip them together like bricks. They become a wall,
My greed, my fears, everything, nothing at all.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
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