Constantly Risking Absurdity (#15)
In CONEY ISLAND OF THE MIND by Lawrence Ferlinghetti:
Constantly risking absurdity/
and death/
whenever he performs/
above the heads/
of his audience/
the poet like an acrobat/
climbs on rime/
to a high wire of his own making/
and balancing on eyebeams/
above a sea of faces/
paces his way/
to the other side of day/
performing entrechats/
and sleight-of-foot tricks/
and other high theatrics/
and all without mistaking/
any thing/
for what it may not be/

For he’s the super realist/
who must perforce perceive/
taut truth/
before the taking of each stance or step/
in his supposed advance/
toward that still higher perch/
where Beauty stands and waits/
with gravity/
to start her death-defying leap/

And he/
a little charleychaplin man/
who may or may not catch/
her fair eternal form/
spreadeagled in the empty air/
of existence/