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Co-Pilot To Pilot: Over And Out

(After reading a poem that imagined worlds beyond human perception, then lamented their being merely imaginary.)

This obsessive dream of the physical
has become so vivid for us
that the first glimmer of waking,
squinted at through bleary eyes,
is a dim ghost of the dreams
we haven't yet let go of -
a dream itself, our waking,
getting real as slowly as we credit it
and move out into it, begin to touch
and name things, create them anew.

So it is frustrating to me when you,
half awake, take me with you on a tour
of the emptiness between swirling
scintillant galaxies or show me exactly
what the ripple of passage of the shadow
of a blackbird's wing over a strip of grass
does to the cellular hubbub inside an aphid

(putting me THERE, dimly, but definitely —)
only to lament our limits and elaborately
come to terms with our human inability
to know such things as those we have just
(hanging onto your wings) known —

all "Imagination" merely. Where do poems go
when thus they die? You, who escorted me,
how could you not have been there too?
How dismiss it as mere invention?
And if it be that, can we ever know anything
we do not first invent?

It's true that out among the nebulae,
I was, to most of my senses, still inhabiting
a human head, but only because
my being a head has been so long
and so forcefully and by so many
imagined.

Vision betrayed instantly - poor ember of dawn -
goes out, as, drugged by agreement, you roll over,
clench your eyes and try to sleep,
to dream the bad dream to a bittersweet end,

leaving me alone here clinging to the grey thread
of morning light beneath the shade.

c. Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 25, 2006