Towers & Dungeons – Lilac City Fairy Tales, Vol 4.
Climbing the Tower
For Harold Balazs
It is possible to be happy and terrified all at once.
That was how I felt as I started to climb, shaking,
gasping for breath as I got higher and higher into
the air as my hands sanded raw on concrete.
I knew if I got to the top after climbing up the zigs
and the even higher zags, I was going to see the
creed. As I was climbing, I thought about all the
towers, the Steamplant and her giant towers of
smoky sex, the big clock tower across the park.
I am always climbing to the tallest place like
a cat who wants to be in a tall tree, on the roof
or top of the refrigerator. I want my own turret
on top of the Ridpath right under the P where I can
look down into the downtown like a pigeon.
I walk around the base of all tall things before I climb
in a little ritual, counter clockwise, smiling like Cheshire cat
hoping, worrying that I might have to go down into a
dank, dark basement, into the land of leaking sidewalks,
mold, singing small frogs or into the beigeness
of a bureaucracy. What belongs in this poem is a monster.
We have one in the White House. This tower could have a
Rapunzel but right here at the top it has a creed,
Transcend the bullshit.