Plaint in a Major Key

By Jorge Sánchez Jorge Sanchez

Without even leaving one’s door,
One can know the whole world.
—Laozi

The rumble of the night sounds
even in the bright daylight
of morning. Life blooms amid
the Ten Thousand Things, but
does not bloom amid the Ten
Thousand Things. Shrivel-eyed
I wake up and tend to the One
here and now, clamoring to be
let out. Down with the gate,
out with the boy, to the rooms
of life’s necessities, first
to void and next to fill.
The Order is only order which
is disorder, the only Disorder
is the disorder that is order.
We usher ourselves, each in our
own way, back down the way
for various brushings, combings,
other groomings. Each in our
own way we urge the other
toward some kind of growth:
one to assume, the other   
to renounce; one to grow larger,
the other to grow smaller,
thereby growing larger. Words
do not work, and when they do not,
other words might. This makes
more sense than it seems, works
more often than it doesn’t,
except when it really doesn’t,
and then that disorder creeps
back in. In five minutes,
a different challenge. In five
hours, a different One. Six
more hours, the One is rubbing
eyes, untangled like a dragon,
shucked and undone like an oyster.
The night slowly rolls abed
and the words form stories form
sleep, the sleep of the Ten
Thousand Things, the sleep
that will echo the next day
in the night’s rumbling sounds,
in the bright light of morning.

Source: Poetry (November 2008).

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This poem originally appeared in the November 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

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November 2008
 Jorge  Sánchez

Biography

Cuban American fiction writer, teacher, essayist, and poet Jorge Sánchez was born in Hialeah, Florida, and raised in Miami. He earned a BA from Loyola University, an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, and an MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Sánchez lives in Chicago with his wife and son.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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