He wanted

“He wanted to know everything
but refused to learn anything”
“Timber totes the pixy lock”—
nonsense talk—like the delight my
three-year old took when he jumped
on a puddle in the parking lot
Do mechanical conveniences

make any of us happy? Sure, I guess
Thomas Jefferson, speaking of his
father, said that “though his education
had been neglected, he read much and
managed to improve himself” Now,
instead of having a father I’m the father,
instead of being a son, I’m the dad

Corrupt, self-serving authority,
pig-headed pride, sentimental,
unrealistic, suspect, we become
globally known for a kind of
pathological politics in which
only what’s important to you 
is always so important to me

Grandma didn’t like cats near her but
cats (perhaps attracted by the perfume
she seemed to bath in) loved her “Shoo,
shoo” she’d angrily say, when a cat
came near but cats act as they wish 
When grandma, a skilled musician,
played Mozart on the piano our cat

pricked up her ears as if to listen
When mom, who was a tad tone
deaf played, the cat seemed quite
indifferent—“B-flat, b-flat,” grandma
would yell from downstairs while
mom, as a little girl, practiced piano
She thought she was a witch

because mom couldn’t hear when the
notes went up or down—so how did
grandma know it was supposed to be
b-flat?—“What do you want from the
kid” grandpa would say, “she ain’t
made that way” but mom knew
how to smile, as many women do,

even when there’s nothing to smile about
like she did when we applied for me to
go to a fancy private school—Maybe it
mattered (I got in) and maybe it didn’t—
By the way, it’s a tell, when someone
who might lie, explains to you why
they’re not lying now (they are)—“it’d be

bad karma for me to lie about this,” or “I’ve
nothing much to gain by such a lie”—but an
unwarranted smile? Maybe, that’s just polite
The chinless ones were stronger than us,
buried their dead, made finely cut tools
to kill and butcher meat (and each other?) but, we
believe, couldn’t think or speak symbolically

And though quite intelligent, they fought
for their lives in small tight groups—All
that they left behind for us were sharp stone
tools, hearths, food debris, and their bones—
lives like the unknown and unknowable
source of all consciousness, if consciousness
can exist outside and apart from our minds  

-July 25, 2020-