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The wolf

That dog’s no dog— she’s a wolf
See her deadly weary eyes shine
as the cowardly hunter sits perched
behind her like the bloody wolf’s his pet
He smiles as he holds his rifle and seems
to stroke the grey wolf’s head—not like
she’s his prey but his wildest, sweetest friend

Always a little off—not much
I comb my hair from the right
while everyone else goes left
Human genius is aristocratic, rare
an accident—“They’re a bit disconnected,
crotchety, these old people”
(with a slight shrug of his head)

“God bless ‘em,” said Tony
“you’ve got to be patient ‘cause
they see the world different”
Profundity of thought always the
result of slow, stultifying ruminations
We all want to be loved and,
though old, still yearn for it

An indignant man tells many lies
Good manners are a kind of empathy
Life’s gross store of bitterness
resists our profound comprehension
“That’s a bagel?”
the old European grandma asked
as she looks at it disdainfully

(it looked pretty good and fresh to me)
“Yes, Ma” said Jerry as he shook
his head sideways, “It is”
People (gods?) look better in this Renaissance
painting than they could have possibly looked
She didn’t appreciate my tone, she said
Such celestial purity and ease,

such vivid, burnished clarity
“Maybe I’m an alcoholic” said Jerry
“Each night I go home and have a glass
of scotch on ice and if I don’t have it
I really miss it”
Pity’s good for art—
all that sad bitterness

We’re free when we act only in
accordance with our innermost wishes
Wendy exalts in her good health
Our shortcuts, our short-term solutions
adopted, we think, on the way to perfect
When you see your passions as evil,
your passions are evil

A throb and an urgency called life
drives them together and will drive them
apart in an intellectually disturbed,
all too vulgar, world of everyday things
She’s most dangerous when almost beaten
“I’m safe but hiding in my humiliation”
Time is the thing we have least of

The wolf stands not for evil—
She’s a kind of misfortune like
an ultimate solver of riddles,
the redemption of all chance
We who lead interior lives
want to be understood
as we thrash our way into night

and awaken still unbeaten
“I kind of look bad in her memoir
Then I realized it was true
I was a no good bastard
It’s not the way I am now
but the way I was then”
An identity is less than a life

 

 

-September 30, 2017-