“The Vision,” in The Incredible Sestina Anthology, ed. Daniel Nester, Austin, TX: Write Bloody Publishing, 2013, pp. 284-5.
Everything in “The Vision” is true and accurate, as I remember it. What you read as your eyes walk through it is what happened. It was a true, if weird, vision, and what I decided to do with my life after I experienced it is what I have done:
By Lewis Turco
It came upon me while I was on the crapper
of my father’s parsonage, my eyes
boring into the porcelain of the tiles
before me on the wall. The tiles were white.
They spread across the vacancy of time
That seeped into my mind and filled that blank
jug of puberty with a vast Mont Blanc
of sorrow and ennui. On that crapper
I saw that I would have to fill up time
with something more than the nothing that met my eyes,
the emptiness that seeped out of those white
ranges of porcelain whose trackless tiles
led finally to death. I feared those tiles
worse than I feared my death, that ultimate blank-
ness waiting for me on the snowy white
crest of age. I saw life was a crapper
that had to be filled with something. If I closed my eyes
perhaps I could dream myself to a better time
than this one snowing before me. There was no time
to dream. What could I do? I could fill tiles
with words. I could write. I filled my eyes
with reading every day; I could fill blank
sheets with my own words. I rose off that crapper
thinking I might pave my way with white
sheaves laden with stories, poems — I could write
my way to death by filling my living tome
with endless lines of type till I came-a-cropper
at last and alas! perhaps, on the devil’s tines,
if I kept my gaze steady and didn’t blink,
and if I did not try to romanticize
my life with gods and demons, with the sighs
of wishful thinking, with the little white
lies of religion that covered up the blank
of existence with the stuff that fills a crapper.
I pulled myself out of the abyss of tiles
Ready to take on life and move in time.
I’d use my eyes to read. Perhaps in time
I’d use those words to write, to fill up tiles
With something more than blankness on that crapper.
Since I wrote this poem it has become the first half of a double sestina titled “Double Vision” which may be found in The Gathering of the Elders and Other Poems by “Wesli Court,” a.k.a. Lewis Turco, Scottsdale, AZ: www.StarCloudPress.com, 2010, ISBN 978-1-932842-43-2, trade paperback, 115 pp.