Men Go Blind

Men go blind, just

as women will; some

have never known sight, have

never suffered The Dimming

of spectrum to deep green red blue and

ultimately a depth of unlit indigo:

(the reflection

of spectacles of a love

—love ailing—

the last thing seen before

a morning where the eyes

offer no dimension

(he does not know

have grown glassy))

do not Go blind:

the sky, the heavens,

interrupted only

by a post, a

shoulder the hand

rests upon, a hand;

do not:

men go blind, just

as women will; some

scan words over dim horizon—<Breeep>

of cars apprehended with C



some fall crawling into old re

membered attics, closets—what a hand

can do for horror or succor.

He said, when I go

blind, and I will, I

am, I will spread my

thousand fingers, on

the last morning, to

touch those rose-tipped

of dawn: distraught: in

tears: the morning fog rolls

into the living room, to be and not to be, in ardor.


A blindman, ?blinded?, across the count

er, Wayne (‘fortuitous’ name),

asked me score inning bases-loaded?

as I gave him change, he

folded a five into a diamond, a ten

into a fox, no, kidding, a square.

And this origami is like the poem:

“Thirty days hath September…”


As men go

blind and women,

from the womb or after—

cold, abyssal shock

(as a blind crustacean wandering from a hot spot in the Marianas Trench)

or frigid white light that will

only grow dark as the hands still feel, the body still embraces,

(history of subterranean

salamanders, eyes gone


how long do memories stay

here among the thickets where we

are where the body is secured

by its ability to bleed against

thorn & thistle, to

bruise, to breath, to cough

in the cold, for scabs to heal or not

how long, in this cold, in the thickets, this

horizontal plane, where even I, with my vision, my glasses,

cannot scry so far, where

horizon, at best, is secured as a line, more

often the branches that scratch

my face, my hands, where

I scratch my face with my hands, where

the path(s) taken at best a bend at

worst a briar, where

how long “in cold hell, in thicket”* can

whether Tiresius or the more mundane

functional eyes, how long,

whether blind or going

blind or eagle-eyed can we keep

going (when the eyes of eagles or owls

are of so little use), can we keep, in faith,

going, can we trace where we have gone,

can we know what lies beyond the bend

behind us, beyond the incidental scrape, can we

know what has gone on there, back there,

and what else can we do, saying

how long can I…and how long can I,

how long can we plod in this thick-of-it,

how long can memory inform us, ‘blind’ or ‘not’,

and push our feet to press into the cold mud,

and how long in this cold thicket

can we muster our small courage

to imagine the trail we are taking,

‘blind’ or ‘not’, blind men and blind women,

how long can we can claim (to know)

the horizon when this basic topography

about us cannot be made out,

least of all


* Charles Olson, “In Cold Hell, in Thicket”


1 Comment

Filed under astrology, blindness, Charles Olson, fireflies, poetry

One response to “Men Go Blind

  1. Must say that this leaves me kinda cold (much like Olson always did). Quite cerebral.

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