Thursday, March 19, 2015

Five Poems


A man
In the preconscious process of not
Quite living up to his promise –
He made a small start at things
And failed
And did not try again.

Worse of all it was:
Not one thing intervened
At that or any point to stop him.
God eyed him with brief interest
But wisely – I think – dropped him.


Funny how, there was that whole lifetime of preparation
So that one day –you told me – you would “help people.”
And then, first day on the job
There in front of you was a mother pleading
Not to have her child put up for adoption
A father stopped with a missing taillight
And a bad attitude
Back across the border he goes!
Or that woman who
In a daze of terror and pain
Made poor-timed use
Of the wrong side of a blade.

And what did you do?
Just like anyone else would, you sent them
Into prison or maybe exile –
For what probably were good reasons.

Gee, all that turned out to be
Lots less fun than you thought!
Golf, anyone?


You know those poems
From a more Romantic era
Where there’s some rotten mad king drowning in wine
And slave girls – who curses God in many tongues
And afflicts the poor and the orphans
And, after daring divine justice just enough
Gets it right in the kisser?

They’re pretty good, sure, I’ve got nothing against them.
But let’s have a poem this time
About the far more familiar situation
In which the king may well be mad
And certainly is rotten,
But is often photographed in states of prayer
With head bowed in press conference or while
Intoning over deceased fowl
And married well and has children
Who are quite well behaved.
And is not particularly disliked, for when he goes they say:
“Sure, he was bad,
But no worse than all the others.”


What’s your explanation as to why stupidity
Is so often accompanied by success?
My own pet theory is
That success is stupid.
But if stupidity is success,
Then there’s nothing smart about smartness.
In which case stupidity is not stupid
But if stupidity is not stupid
Then it is not that which accompanies success
But then—


n. An elaborate and much elaborated
Set of tautologies
In which you learn to explain what’s wrong with you
By coming up with new names for it.
I have “purple”!
Futile– except
When I learn
That you have “purple” too
And two purple people, we love each other
And purpulate the Earth.

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