I Mean: A Poem by Tarık Günersel

by    /  June 23, 2017  / Comments Off on I Mean: A Poem by Tarık Günersel

I Mean

I mean to
I keep meaning to
I keep meaning to mean
I mean
I mean to mean
I mean to keep meaning to mean
I keep meaning to keep meaning to mean
I mean
Am I mean?
I don’t mean to be mean
but a keeper? A door keeper? When no door
can be locked any more?
A goal keeper? When no balls have been left around
on or above the ground?
No offense –but all offense: So I mean I don’t mean
to be mean but I can’t keep up with all those keepers
that mean to explode all doors with all sorts of goals
with or without meaning
as I keep cleaning all –meaning all meaning
with my keeping up with my keeping meaning to mean
something –anything –even though it might still be nothing
See what I mean?
Now all balls are under the ground
buried with mine
with mines
when all those mine keepers were meaning to keep all the
meanings clean though cleaning was the last meaning left
from that ethnic cleansing
See what I mean?
I mean all used to have meaning –all this, till they began to
use all to mean whatever they meant them to mean
Now everything is clean
Ethnically mentally bodily memorywise anticlockwise
They were wise? See what I mean? Vitamin See?
Mr Vitamin See? I mean C? See? Sea? The seas and
lakes of lost memories? Oceans
of destroyed promotions –when all motions
were frozen traces of the motions that were
unanimous when all of us were dead?
But we were those children instead
when those warplanes bombed the park
just as their doorkeeper was about to bark
and the toy fish in my hand turned into a shark?
Do these questions mean what I mean them to mean
now that everything is clean? With no evidence?
No judges? Though a minister speaks in the name of
justice? C what I mean, Mr and Mrs Vitamin Mean?
You mean vitamin in the sense of vita-mean, i.e.
life-mean, meaning meaning of life
when death is about to say the last thing -nothing?
I mean
I guess
I mean I guess
I mean
not hair
I mean
Mean I
Mean me
I’m keen to mean
I keep meaning to mean
I’m keen
I was keen
on living
though I was leaving
with these leaves
on me
and you
though you were not aware
still not aware
and you still care
about caring
to breathe
in vain
as if
there were
Vermont – June 14, 2017

About the Author

Poet, playwright, actor, and director Tarık Günersel worked at Istanbul City Theater as a dramaturg. His works include Breaths of Infinity (a mosaic of poems) and My 300th Birthday Speech (short stories). His Becoming consists of his aphorisms and various ideas from world wisdom. His plays include Billennium, Nero and Agrippina, Sociology of Shit, Threat and Virtually Yours. He has written four libretti for the composer Selman Ada: Ali Baba & 40, Blue Dot, Forbidden Love, and Another Planet. His translations into Turkish include works by Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Savyon Liebrecht. His presentation of World Poetry Day to PEN International in 1997 led to its adoption by UNESCO. As the former president of PEN Turkey Center he was elected to PEN International Board in Tokyo from 2010 to 2012. In 2013 he initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the collaboration of several intellectuals from around the planet.

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Fearless, Ink.