To the Mind

The mind can take flight into the world,
because it is not purely of the world . . .
            —Kenneth Patchen
Why do we wish upon a nonexistent star?
We know the star is gone, the light just now arriving.
Then why, O Mind, do we not wish upon the light?
Why do we lie both to ourselves and others, why
do we not value more the facts you would supply us
and make the bravest and most honest use of you,
you burning glory in the darkness of all time?
Why do we mock our truest selves and glorify
the sad bear of the body, locked in gravity,
O glorify the little leaps that it can make,
when you soar through the universe, a rocket ship,
you your own torch, and looking for the cosmic key
with which to unlock all existence in a phrase
or elegant equation, speaking like a god,
explaining everything in terms your partner, Heart,
retarded, slow, but pulsing, an idiot-savant,
can bear to beat his muscled drum for and be gay?
O Mind, you bravest human part, you essence us,
and lift us off our feet in flight toward the stars,
and are our pilot in the windshear night to port,
and so I sing your praises all my days, O Mind!

E. M. Schorb has published several collections of poetry, including Time and Fevers: New and Selected Poems (AuthorsHouse, 2004), which was chosen as a 2007 Eric Hoffer Book Award winner; A Fable & Other Prose Poems (2002), Murderer's Day (1998), winner of the Verna Emery Poetry Prize; 50 Poems (1987); and The Poor Boy and Other Poems (1975); and a chapbook, Like the Fall of Rome and Other Humanitarian Disasters (1980). He is also the author of two novels: Paradise Square, which won the International eBook Award Foundation's Frankfurt eBook Award for "Best Fiction work originally published in eBook form," and Scenario for Scorsese (both Denlinger's Publishers, 2000). His poems and prose have appeared in Best American Fantasy 2007, as well as The American Scholar, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Chattahoochee Review, Chelsea, The Literary Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Southern Review, The Sewanee Review, The Texas Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Yale Review, among other journals. His honors include Fellowships in Literature from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the North Carolina Arts Council, and grants from the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Carnegie Fund for Authors, and Robert Rauschenberg & Change, Inc. (for illustrations in The Poor Boy). He lives in Mooresville, North Carolina.