Saturday, February 2, 2013

Old Poem #2

in retrospect it all sounds so funny

he threw a coin into a well
& wished for money

he regretted that he let it go
before he even finished the throw

he immediately wondered how often in the past he had done that before
& how much it had cost him to have a desire for more

he sang at the top of his lungs with the record album on the jukebox
he killed time mercilessly but he loathed murderers as much as he doubted priests

he watched the news broadcast nightly with a hand over one eye
every minute of footage drove him closer to tears
he expected each & every scene to end in fire

he carried a pencil to draw pictures of the world that he wanted to see
& to write down the words he was too scared to say aloud

he never read the numbers on the currency but he always remembered the faces

he tried to avoid listening to conversations around him
& hunched over to prevent people from looking over his shoulder
even though he knew that they would see it all eventually
& he knew that he had heard it all before

he was relieved when he looked up from his notebook & across the bar
& saw the promotional calendar for the local liquor distributor taped to the mirror
in exactly the place where he expected to look himself right in the eyes
but instead he got to stare at a pretty girl in a cute little dress for far too long

so it was easy for him to recognize what makes it all funny in retrospect when he thinks about
how much he thinks about the future & how little he understands how to get there

soon the blackness will burn away from the tainted seas
& the sky will be red upon reflection of the flames

soon there will be another great howl from the poets
another universal chant
another name for the spirits & their forces & the muses & the deities combined
another glorious simplification
another fine union of forms & styles

soon their will be too many tragic historical dates for the wall painted in memorial
& shortly thereafter those walls will crumble
& the survivors will wonder where to mourn those moments
& the mourners will wonder where to survive

but the salty stains on the cheeks of the concrete cherubs
will always remain & the laughter will linger, too
on the facades of the government buildings & the lofty cathedrals ceilings
the echoes will resound again & again & again

& again the children will giggle, guffaw, grope, grab, grapple
& again raise their voices higher than intended
& belie their secrets to the strangers they befriended accidentally

somehow this history will continue

in retrospect it all sounds so funny
but it is all so sad & very true

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