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We don’t see

We don’t see—
not like the hawks
We don’t hear high, like dogs
or low, like elephants
We don’t feel the earth’s magnet
like migrating birds
and our sense of smell is pitiful
compared to the wolves
We can’t be moved by rudimentary pheromones
like the ants or the bees
We don’t run very fast
and we can barely climb trees

This kind of day, again
So I walk
Late Fall, early and grey
Low clouds but no rain
Damp
She let it be known
that she wouldn’t talk about her books
or her memories
True artists are easily bored
Aren’t you?
So they embellish as they simplify
so many subtleties

Magnets have souls, he said
They’re eloquent
Their impulse for each other
is love
What do we do with the
“senior associate” who can’t be used
or removed?
And what becomes of all that know-how, anyway
when she dies—
like whether to take a bus or a taxi
and how much the kids ought
to bundle up?

You know who promoted me,
the known he’ll take the fifth
will not incriminate himself
won’t name names pseudo in his youth
communist, Marxist Leninist Trotskyite?
They were promoting all the returning Korean
war vets then but they wouldn’t have
promoted me, not if they checked
Someone was eating her lunch
or making a phone call
when this batch of promotions crossed
her desk; so she promoted me

When the sound got to be too much
she’d switch off her hearing aid in disgust
The damn thing whistled in her ear
She’d say “You men,
men always get to do what they want”
Okay then, go ahead
dance in the streets in joy,
in glee, swing your burkas
Go celebrate our innocent murdered dead
Killing the likes of you and yours
brings us no dances, no joy, no glee
Killing the likes of you is a chore

They tell of the great philosopher
of “Will and Representation”
how he sat by himself in a café one day
surrounded by pastries
He cuts and tastes first this one
then that one
then that one and that one—
Oh heaven
But there you sit and peel an orange
Many must conspire, selflessly I may add,
to bring you that orange, and yet you’re blue?
Cheer up, Bunky, you have an orange!!!

Once the limbs tangle and squish
they’re never the same
When she looked at the wedding photos
ostensibly to help us choose those to go
into our wedding album
she saw a picture of herself all decked out
old, venerable and regal
So she surreptitiously swiped it
Enjoy your practice now
because before you know it
some august group will invite you to a panel
to talk about the good old days

So Matt was an actor, see
So I’d call him on the phone to chat
and he’d pick up and say “Hello”
And without further ado I’d speak
the first line of Lear:
“Matt,” I’d say,
“I thought the king had more affected
the duke of Albany than Cornwall”
And without missing a beat he’d say:
“No shit, Sherlock”
Which I am and was quite sure is not
the next line

 

 

 

 

 

-November 22, 2014-