The Life and Opinions of a Tristram Shandy Fan
by Alex Belz

No one ever tried to write me an encyclopedia of life
I’ve read no entries on love or fate or war
and I don’t want a blank page for a beautiful woman
I want her to appear like Athena from the ivory
I want to be her Parthenon, her Greece,
moving nations and borders in the name of the patron saint of her
and I don’t ever want to live my life by the clock
pushing and punching numbers to the tick tock of someone else’s pulse.
I want this life to shake me, move me and break me.
I want to move hours with my mind – shuffle worlds
with my verse until every woman wants to absorb me
like water through bloodstreams,
to ride this world not like a saddle
but tear life at its seams
grab bull horns with bull hands
and hang on until I know
that this world wouldn’t be the same without me.

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