Jan Sand (February 2 1926 / USA)
Frank In Contemplation
They call me Frank these days
And the name implies me many ways.
My character is blunt, somewhat unswerving.
My features rather crude, I am a creature
Of many parts, they say, unnerving
In random chaotic fashion. But, anyways,
I function. Admittedly with little passion.
Those hormone fires sparking desires,
That smolders into what inspires humanity
To love, to hate, to insanity, to inanity,
Do not reside in my inside.
My thoughts have space,
Do not jumble or collide.
I am a spare parts man. My maker
Doctor Frankenstein, gathered fingertips,
A fine array of noses, lips,
A box of ears and bellybuttons, fifteen,
Pink, well formed and quite clean.
My bones had lain with frozen stones
For decades, disinterred but well matched
And sturdy. Three from an acrobat, one,
A delight, once lived inside a knight. Two patched
Out of pieces from a horse, a cat, and just for fun,
Two from a calf
And one from a giraffe.
Am I human? Mostly, I would say.
But can any normal human say more?
Speaking Frankly it seems not.
Any peek into the random mind
Would find, perhaps a common spot
Where each could join, relate.
Happily to twist and knot.
But minds are vast topologies
Teeming with mythologies.
Here and there a mountain peak
May glisten in the light
Of clean perception,
A point to guide the wild ride
We all endure for reception
Of markers inside
To know what’s wrong,
Or what might be right.
But deep down low, below
Where fantasy is spun,
Where hot blood must run
With energies that spark and glow,
Where frigid caverns harbor fears,
Stalactites bleeding tears,
Strange pallid creatures spawn and grow,
Blind, with trembling antennae feeling
To supplement their senses, reeling.
Here is where our mind appears,
Here is where the join begins,
Where necessities and desires
Ignite to free their eager djinns.
Being thus, both minus, plus
In fragments of humanity
I teeter in my loyalties.
Inflections there roil and muss.
Internally no royalties
Dictate my state of insanity.
My mind, from the good doctor’s hand
Was pieced in ways, sometimes grand,
Sometimes out of opportunity
From a mélange community.
Centrally there was the plan
To integrate disparate parts
With surgic skills and arcane arts
To merely duplicate a man.
But my baron had a mind
Of extraordinary kind.
His thoughts were rather wild and free
That wandered into rare country
And harnessed serendipity.
He viewed the brain as working space,
A foundation kind of place, a base
Whereupon to erect, construct, and intervene.
Intimations, cross connections, strange collections
From exotic sources. Monkeys, mice, even horses,
No sense to be conservative, release creative forces
And sweep the whole horizon on the biologic scene.
With appreciation and surmise
He snatched the brains for eagle eyes
And to set the world agog
Applied the slimy senses from a frog.
Out of a squid he stole great nerves
Laid out in lines, tangles, curves
To olfactions from a dog.
Thus it went, adventure bent,
And no particular intent
But merely elected eclectic enterprise
To appropriate variety to human guise.
So thus am I constituted
In ways strange and convoluted
Some parts blatant, some more muted
To contain within my brain
Much surmised and quite a bit
Simply grabbed and uncomputed.
But now the doubts, most elegant,
Are running out in this rant.
Am I animal or plant?
I really cannot say.
A few genes from mushrooms
(Some upright, some inverted)
Fitting in quite alright
So I’m mildly saprophyte.
The conclusion, in confusion, comes to admit
I’m a bit of this and that most adroitly fit.
My claim to humanity, although sincere,
Based on just my form is not too clear.
I walk like any bird or man
Converse like any parrot.
My fingers are slightly thick
Resembling a carrot.
I cannot classify my thoughts
As fish or fowl or oyster.
Some ideas float to me
Not fitting for a cloister.
My mosaic being borrowed with great plunder,
Is strange undoubtedly, and something of a wonder,
It partakes of living things, a smorgasbord of life.
Nothing clear nor direct, not any absolute,
Not more human than an ant, or, perhaps a newt.
I am a universal, a poem said to living,
Proteins intermingled and delightfully forgiving.
It’s not a bad thing now, amidst our human fighting
To be a being out of many, accepting, not benighting.
All living things, derive their wings,
Their eyes, their ears, their hearts,
All their bones and working things
From each other’s working parts.
For life is made to see, to hear, to dance in sunlit joy.
It matters not what parts you’ve got
Or what you might employ.
We live, we love, we reproduce,
We are of Earth and air,
We’re born to laugh and love and sing
And strike away despair.
I am a being of all of us that walk or swim or fly,
Exist in space, seize this time that flows so quickly by.
I am you and you are me, it’s all so very clear.
Our time is always merely now, our place is always here.
So join with me in ecstasy to surely be aware.
This world is made to be played, intensively to care.
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