“View from My Long Beach Study” by C.E. Chaffin

C.E. Chaffin


Pan left: they’ve painted the Bekins building yellow.
Pan right: blinds shield my eyes from the ground zero
flash of sun on sea.

Divines maintain
we must be blind to see. I’d part these blinds
to scan the blinding sea if Jesus
meant that literally, but I know
better than to pluck a blood-fed eye.

Poets have gone blind but none
began so; if stricken, I’d spout twenty lines a day,
like Milton, composed in bitter peace
against my frenzied need to see my words.

I don’t trust ear and mind alone;
I prefer paper over stone. I write no laws,
my work can all be burned.

from Rattle #14, Winter 2000

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