Sunday, June 2, 2013

night class

Here is another poem recently published in print and now at my copyrighted electronic disposal.  I know, fine phrasing for so-called art, right?  A modern concern writ small, dilution and saturation in one fell-swoop. Be assured, though, this is not a soapbox I'm not genuinely on because: [1] soapboxes require calisthenics and I'm tired, [2] so-called artists are as indiscernible as ever from bona fide artists with respect to the beggarly-chooserly maxim, and [3] if I was an earnest purist, I'd spread my stories and songs in the wise of this old man man.

Night Class

By campfire, under the useless umbrella of embers,
Listen to the hoary man when he says,

Never confuse how much sky
you can cover
by your hand
at arm’s length
with how much
of it you can hold.

When he starts in a palsied A-minor to sing of wolves
Through cigaretted teeth, red-eyed, listen:

She was white as snow, a snow wolf, that is,
            hiding in the powdery drifts
            she sniffed and I knew I was
            a goner.

The flames will settle like restless children as the concave
Belly of space hulas in its spangled skirt.
The tree frogs will concede their limbs to sentry owls,
And the cricketing will crescendo.
The hoary man will stand, dust bark from his pants,
Pour his coffee on the fire; but before he retires,
He will hold out his hand, erect his thumb and say,

No matter where it is or how seemingly big,
            you can cover
            the moon, but
            from your eyes
            only; and you
            can never ever
            squash it.

And you should listen.
Let damp morning do its worst and listen,
Even as he snores.  
(First published in Bacopa Literary Review, 2013)

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