Starting off the Poetry Exchange with David Denny

To celebrate the first day of Poetry Month, I thought we should start with a poem by the first Cupertino Poet Laureate, David Denny. Read his poem “Fool in the Attic” where it was first published in the May 2007 journal Perspectives. If you’re interested in more of Dave’s work, you can buy his chapbook, Plebeian on the Front Porch at Finishing Line Press, or either of his books Fool in the Attic and Man Overboard: A Tale of Divine Compassion on Amazon.

Fool in the Attic

by David Denny

Go ahead, try to ignore him, that
gregarious wise guy in your head.
Try as you might to bring your body
under the discipline of the breath
and use it as a drill to dig a well
to the soul, again and again his
incessant chatter will haul the bucket
back to the surface. The Buddhists
call him Monkey Mind, recalling
the numbing scat of our hairy relatives
in the canopy as we walk through
the jungle of the post-modern world.

What he wants more than anything
is to see you climbing awkwardly
into the trees after him, narrowly
missing his tail as he leaps
from branch to wagging branch,
mocking you with his screeching
and wailing. Again and again
you must return your gaze back
to the path before you. Again and ever
again turning back, turning back,
imagining a Someday when the nerves
in your legs don’t ache to follow him.

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