Thursday, March 14, 2013

the loose hat of the confidence by Jefferson Hansen

the loose hat of the confidence man signifying nothing and everything saying "this is me" and "there is no me, exactly" sits flat on his head like honesty making no effort because it is so true seemingly 

        we can all see 
        into another 
        if we tip 
        at just 
        the right way

                                              all confidence 
                                              emanate from

         a pill smells
         of lavender an herb
         of musak

 at a door hat in hand the confidence man goes light and polite asking for what he cannot not receive and giving, oh giving, so much into those gaps where he and you entangle 

we are more 
out of what
we call 
our self 
than in

                                        like Whitman
                                        we each contain

     few actions based
     on principle
     many on

sometimes you wear the soft hat and coo and purr your way to a desired soft landing it is part of what we call survival part of what we must celebrate part of what we must guard against

               how many
               in you
               to gain confidence

                                                    even a samaritan 
                                                    must first
                                                    build confidence

                      the angle 
                      of wind
                      out of a forsaken 
                      on the wrong 
                      kind of day

a direct address I didn't need but wanted like I want the burn of whiskey on other wrong days when no faith rises up and the landscape goes flat and threatening

   grandmother worries
   about memory—
   grandson plays
   confidence trick
   talks of forgetting
   what he went for
   when he gets there

                                                  vast con-
                                                  fidence game
                                                 filled with 
                                                 even smaller games
                                                 intricate and unpredictable
                                                 like electrons
                                                 where are they

                  what isn't
                  known only
                  to a degree
                  of certainty

the color of confidence could be orange could be violet beware of magenta and pink others off the spectrum confidence thrives in mixture and our mixed personal humanity—the visible spectrum blinds us to possibility and potential

    ah, but don't
    you wish don't
    you long
    for clarity

                                       an international
                                       crisis when Yo-Yo
                                       Ma plays
                                       around broken string —
                                       who's been 
                                       doing that 
                                       for centuries

    saloon piano
    sticking key
    better play the blues
    the crowd demands

the confidence woman tries out one voice then another slips and slides her perception of audience until she modulates just right in history we are the people most threatened by confidence

                the science
                of the focus

                                                 the moment
                                                 you're taken
                                                 glides by

      play conflicting
      confidence tricks
      all day and night
      to immobilize
      a population

when the attempt goes unanswered like decay and dread when all choice becomes somehow closed the way ahead unspeaking and the man comes talking a fine, fine game

                                                  and what if
                                                  that man
                                                  wants good

                          how about he
                          actually does

     truth itself
     formed by
     the will
     to believe 
     (Wm. James)


Jefferson Hansen is the author of the novel …and beefheart saved craig (BlazeVox) and Jazz Forms (Bluer Lion), a selected poems. He is the editor of the Internet arts journal AlteredScale.

1 comment:

  1. Subtle observations, Jeff. I liked this poem a great deal.