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ODE TO THE PAPERWORK DANCE
by Sylvia Maltzman 
09/25/13
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I struggle for the meaning of great lists and tabulations
as I would for any sculpture-worded poem;
the pages seem not half so fair, words speak not half as wise,
as they would for any sculpture-worded poem.

No simile, no metaphor
no rhythm knocking at my door,
no space for rhyme, no metered time,
not pleasing to the ear or tongue,
not gratifying old nor young

Just mound on mound,
and tome on tome, unlike the rarest, most
precariously
sculpture-worded poem.

Yea, eat I bread by lists and tabulations;
my wine is bought by mounds of graceless pages;
my roof secured by words-with-wisdom-lacking
but still, my inwards hunger, thirst and chill.
The poetry that fuels my soul and spirit
ignites the pow'r of beauty in its flame!
It seems the more this body works for raiment, food and shelter,
the more it craves, it cries, for just one
sculpture-worded poem.

Yet when my little child's knees are threadbare as my verse,
and I remember when my purse-strings could not purchase
sustenance,
that hour, the Creator's gift of working with my hands
becomes as precious as a log-fire in a bone-chilled night,
more bright than any sculpture-worded poem.

I cannot transform stacks of correspondence
into sheaves of dancing, sculpture-worded poems,

but I can type them with an eye toward Beauty's gate.

The tabs and tabulations will not form mosaic roses,
but I shall mass-produce them with an art I call my own.
Thus will we eat, be warm and dry, and drink to health and hearth,
not through the help of any sculpture-worded poem....

But one child's Mom, with fierce and wild artistry
will keep her saneness, humor, and vivacity;
Elan-survivor in the Godhead-given, pure cerebral dance,
her life becomes
a sculpture-worded poem.

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