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If your utopia

If your utopia requires a broad transformation
of human survival instincts then it’s not
a realistic, legitimate vision of the future 
Gene thought it well to celebrate certain
holidays to break up the year—Otherwise,
our days would be too much the same, with
the same unbroken pains and gratifications

The younger blades are a lighter,
pastel green and stem from the tops
of the older, deep green stalks
Achilles was a psychopath, Hector
a brutal, beloved protector and hero
The one loved honor first, then death
The other loved justice first, then death

I yearn for the feel of her and with that
I want to send her, to feel her move and
rock, together and touch, to love her—
Wonderful, wonderful—the breadth of her,
our partner’s passion, the intense drive to
please her, the dissolution of barriers,
the intensity, the heat and beat of love

Disparate goals and values—
I didn’t find much in him
Smart enough, I guess, even
at times original he was, for
the most part, benign—He bored
me though his style was clear and
his tone was often agreeable

Ben Franklin said, “Three
can keep a secret if two are dead”
You can’t further isolate those
who are already alone
No one who attains power
will do anything except abuse it
Time is brutal, just look at old age

He spoke of the military, the army
of friendships immediately assumed, 
and so often intense among disparate
types and how that time tended to make
him try to bring out the best in those
who he just barely met, and then—
A kind of spectral happiness,

a ghostly remembrance, transparent
memories, misty melancholy pictures
poured to taste, like the leftovers of
a domestic life lived long ago
“It’s not a scientific theory because
it can’t be refuted and because
it explains too much”

A ragged, gaunt piece-worker, but he owned
apartment houses in Queens, land in Florida
and New Jersey, and he cut cloth every day
from 5:30 in the morning until 12 at night
Damn, he seemed half-mad with greed
If consciousness is destroyed by death
then we all die for a bit each day

I walked into a clear glass door
because it had no markings and I
didn’t see it—Instead, I saw small
blips of silver light and bruised,
but didn’t break, my nose—I later
brought the swelling down with ice
Prestigious things don’t mean

a thing to me—I wear a cheap
Timex watch and when it breaks
I get another just like it—Some
days smell good like marshmallows
and chocolate and some are 
relentless and smell of old age
“Every time I go to town” sang

the old bluesman “the police, they kick
my dogs around” and for years I couldn’t
understand why the cops would hurt his
pets—seemed mean silly cruel to kick them—
Then someone explained to me that “dogs” meant
his feet and he was kicked around and not his pets
Now, that’s a sad song that makes perfect sense

-July 11, 2020-