Poetry  March 2010 | issue 411

Enlightenment Is A Bitch

by Dane Cervine

Dane Cervine’s latest book is a collection of poems and essays titled How Therapists Dance. His teenage son, Gabe Kittle-Cervine, has recently discovered he’s a spoken-word poet and can be seen on YouTube reciting his work.


At first it isn’t so bad — a taste of ecstasy,
the world covered in honey. Even snails
scrawl the names of buddhas with their silvery trails.

But then, too much. Pears become unbearable,
wet white flesh so tender one could perish
contemplating the first taste.

Meditation becomes oddly redundant,
attention now like water, absorbed in tree root,
plumbing; even fire hydrants with their red

stubby arms become mandalas, and, worse,
the police siren revving its wail behind
my slow-moving car sounds like a mantra.

Even my wife’s complaints about me finally
sound true. I just bow. Kiss her slender hands.
Carry the garbage outside, but, damn! The moon!



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