THE ROOM WITHOUT PURPOSE
And without décor,
noneless has an atmosphere,
auras of the will to live,
of the faculties, the excitations,
the gossip of the neurons,
the phonemes of silence,
Emanations from reality ---
Urgencies of the soul.
They are provocative,
busts, slightly more than lifesize,
of wood make flesh
with the merest tinctures of vitality.
One imagines him delicately carving the waste
from cheek bones, a jawline, a chin,
the contours of a mouth,
the muscles about deepset eyes.
Perhaps they speak for him
of yearning, remorse, euphoria,
an anxiety as old as childhood,
an unconsenting conviction.
Privately, perhaps, he names them ---
Salome, Hamlet, Ethan Frome,
or graces them with legends ---
the morning waiting for a decision,
a conscience for everything,
the soul exceeding its circumstances.
Oliver Rice has received the Theodore Roethke Prize and twice
been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His poems have appeared
widely in journals and anthologies in the United States, as well
as in Canada , England , Austria , Turkey , and India . His book
of poems, On Consenting to Be a Man, has been introduced by
Cyberwit, a diversified publishing house in the cultural capital
Allahabad , India , and is available on Amazon.