Chivalric code, Six deaths in the city today & Work ethic
[ poetry - may 04 ]
Wear the fox hat...
occasionally bring you down.
O Ares, Ares,
I shall hide flotsam manuscripts
in a cave you'll never get.
Headaches. Baroque torture in Act One,
a dry tickle at the back of the throat,
an index finger aching for hours.
So you can terminate me if you want,
posit the dregs of me in a footnote
to your Ever Ready doctorate.
Six deaths in the city today
My lecture's getting closer. I should read
thirty pages daily, then I'll be
all right on the night, busking it from notes.
I can be academic, talk about
the Wound of Love till the cows come home,
which they never will, and sometimes I see
a cart jogging by with wizards in the back,
necks held tautly by subtle machines,
me in soutane and biretta, following
on an old grey, my breviary in hand.
(Wonder what you do when the Joker attacks.
He collects gobbets. Even makes you laugh.)
It's Gotham, it's night. Don't stay in alone.
But don't go out. The lecture's at nine,
sponsored by AgriMaus. Security's tight.
I'd like to see you there. Don't answer the door.
Crossing off days on my Poetry Calendar
I think of Ace who's spending this November
in Geneva. He bottles up his feelings
about Petrarchan sonnets while he's dealing
with the state of the AgriMaus account,
that is shaped, he thinks, all wrong. He can just about
define the company vision in eight lines
but then things drool out of control, credit loans
and expenses flooding like red lentils
out of a soggy paper bag. He tells
himself that this is the last time. Next year
it will be different. And the computer
spews out page after generating page
that he needs to digest, though critics have praised
unread collections that thudded on his mat
last Tuesday. Sometimes it seems like war.
Hotelwards by Calvinist statues
after a caffeine-led day, he's amused
by the alternative mob in DMs,
hogging the highways, making the trams
slow softly down, herded by a police
that remains unfailingly polite.
He can join the crowd when he gets out.
Write sonnets in the morning. Give up meat.
Scream at each retreating accountant
like one protestor does. She's launched
a GM apple that splashes on his shoe.
Take her away. Sometimes it seems like war.