String Theory
by J. Alan Nelson

I amused myself
frolic by frolic
by books to meet people
who some say live
only in our imagination.
I say it's an independent tangle
when I've met an abbott sieving flour to bake,
and a man in Waco wearing a kilt
while roller skating.
The sleepwalkers agree
when they wake from reality to reality

I have gone to the sea
felt for sand dollars in the surf
and never found one.
I've seen the beacon from the ancient lighthouse
for strangers in the waves
sometimes their only guide
and I've seen bodies by the hundreds
some with green heads,
some with blue hands

I've read tabloid headlines at checkout counters
on days where the headlines seemed dull
because I had seen a pearls outshone
by the breasts on which they lay.
I knew a man named Cephas
because his father taught Greek and Aramaic
and yet wanted to name him Peter.

My teachers said we have the better brain
than the animals we abuse and protect on this world.
I don't know I agree
They don't read the ghastly novels,
the dreadful stories
or see the awful plays
If they understand they'd know
there is no fiction,
this is all autobiographical
of a horrible animal that roams
on the same planet
born slave to the tangle.

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