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A fly flies

                1.
A fly flies fast against the clear, blank window—
   Doesn’t know what hits him hard
   He reels back and bounces to the ledge
Rights himself up and flies right at it again

In his eighth decade and permeated with
   some hard, fine, subtle accomplishments
   Cancer of the lungs his latest astonishment
Get this, he never smoked, not even once

There’s a thin layer of grease
   on all the dishes you washed
   You work too fast, my friend,
like you couldn’t care less

He reaches up to the winds and the dunes
   to the big dumb sea-wash back and forth
   He’ll stay, he says, only in these present times
where he’s never very ill and won’t ever die

 

                2.
If you play this song backwards—
   your woman still loves you, your old truck runs fine
   and your loyal hound dog, Bratz, still digs
those nasty holes under that rusty fence over there

He didn’t want to disappoint the old man
   but boy did he hate football
   He played professionally anyway and
even led the team like a champion

“I didn’t aim to kill no one
    It’s a game, just a game
    After he dies I’m all tentative, man
too scared to really hit anyone”

All the time he thinks, “This is a repulsive,
   inhumanely brutal and stupid game”
   But he coolly, courageously, dances the dance
across and then past these extinctions

 

                3.
“That’s politics, guy
   It’s all about how much
   So don’t you dare blame me
Bribes, like I do what isn’t done”

She stares out the window as her daughter
   is taken away (for her own good, of course)
   Now I stare out the window alone
as she starts her morning run

“It’s not about whether or will
   It’s about how much
   All the poles do this
You can’t do a thing about it”

I take the train to see my brother
   To see my other brother in prison
   I don’t take my kids
They don’t need to see this bullshit

 

                4.
The artificer is ignorant
   The designer knows nothing about it
   It’s blind, efficient, powerful
Life’s extreme and most exacting magic

A certain number of people
   throw themselves in front of trains
   That’s a lot of trauma for the train operator
whose train can’t stop

and lots of work for the crew
   to remove your crushed, splayed detritus
   (it takes hours)
smeared across my otherwise pristine tracks

People, be considerate
   If you’ve got to go, please
   stay away from my trains
Jump, if you must, from some bridge

 

 

-August 3, 2013-