His Obsequiousness

When he didn’t need you anymore
his obsequiousness stopped
He became overbearing, domineering,
sneering, impossible
He managed up but not down
Like for so many,
that usually, if not always, worked

She half smiles as she walks towards me
You know, that half smile of feigned recognition
as though I’m a person that she thinks she should know
but can’t quite place
Intense lovers just months before,
that wire strung tight, tight, so tight
and now, she can’t quite place me

Truth is vulnerability, shock, confusion
Rich, well to do, or poor
you’re just another man in a room
The deepest views of the universe
are the same as our surface views
Yes, the numbers differ, the equations are plain—
but the view is the same

SARS comes from bats,
hantavirus from mice
HIV-1 from chimps
Ebola, again, from bats most likely
and every influenza comes from wild aquatic birds
Oh look, now see,
what they’ve done to him now

He’s got to get to know this place
He’s got to learn which tunnels to avoid
at which times
The basis of delight is wonder
like the echoes of some ancient music
She wakes from his death-dream
to a new and sadder bubble

He lies often
Often, he’s the obsequious yes-man
who surrounds himself with yes-men
Yet, however he got there,
whatever dumb gods put him there,
when he obtained the power he craved
he knew just what to do

Our universe is a bubble
In one bubble you can’t see into the next
We see the one bubble
in the great collection—
the multi-verse
Blood was all over that elegant dress
Look see, what they’ve done to him now


Pleasure’s about where you are
whom you are with
what you eat and drink
your good health
the grandiosity of your house
the wit, the generosity, of your tribe
Happiness is, in contrast, on you

When this man wears a mask
it’s indistinguishable from his skin
so thoroughly does he become
just what he pretends to be
He tells no one everything
His privacy, his freedoms are so precious
It’s not his real face you think you know and see

He could be good mannered, gracious and opaque
Understand this—
don’t think you can read the man
Love is not love if it changes like that—
it never was
What’s beneath had been broken
many times when he was young

His nemesis was an arrogant, narrow,
rude young man
If he himself was not guilty
there was his two-faced elegant brother
Their hatred for each other
was instinctual, visceral, ruthless,
stony, starry-eyed hatred

After he jumps from the Golden Gate Bridge
a fool in mid-flight may change his mind and want life
and sometimes, by chance, he might live
Bedbugs, tapeworms, cancers and
deep sea scavengers
You wouldn’t predict it but this man
is good in a tight spot, calm and decisive

What to make of the feelings you feel
when it’s just bad as it can be
The universe we now know
is mostly dark energy, dark matter
Add it up, the equations don’t lie...
We and our stars the few flecks of coarse light
We sparkle the light quick sparkles

Dad on the bed seemed to us kids to be recovering
I remember the hint of red tint to his skin
He had cancer and would be dead by the end of January
He talked to us about the assassination of President Kennedy
shot yesterday and said,
“I hope nothing like this ever happens again
in your lifetime”



-October 26, 2013-