Richard Jones



The Pyramid


Last night, when I woke at 4 a.m.,

I tried to calculate the amount

of wine I’ve consumed in my life,

a bottle a day for forty years,

then tried to reckon the mass

of empty bottles laid side by side,

stacked in the shape of a pyramid;

in the darkened room I imagined

the sun coming up and shining

through the blue and green glass,

the sunlight a fire blazing inside

each bottle, the towering pyramid

utterly radiant and eternally burning

in the desert of my mind, like a god.







I don’t like talking as much as I used to,

which I mean in both senses—

that I no longer enjoy “talking,”

and that I use fewer words,

averse to the few I manage.


Perhaps I am becoming more inward,

more solipsistic, that is, if one can become

more solipsistic; I mean, after all, solipsism

is a state of being, an either/or condition.

I mean, lately I feel that I’m the only one


who could possibly know what I mean

when I try to say something meaningful.

For instance, this morning at the coffee shop

(in what started in line as a casual

conversation about the weather),


I attempted to articulate the nuances of a thought

to a stranger, to share an epiphany’s lightning,

only to find myself—like young Keats—dying,

standing alone on the shore of the world,

letting all thought sink into nothingness.


Then the stranger in line asked, “What’s solipsism?”

Then the kid behind the counter said, “Sugar?”