SUCH THE WOES

July [28] 2008

  (Poem)


                               

Hershel, may I knock on your door?

I simply wish to ask you–

is it grandeur

in the end 

that so disappoints?

 

Or would you think it’s more

a situation of some

cruel, divine fortune?

 

Your comfort in matters that grieve

makes me this time the eager student,

as I too live in many houses now

and hope like you 

to become abundantly lost.

 

My demons, god bless them,

next year go to college,

and the less I work 

the harder my portfolios 

itch to multiply like the African fruitfly. 

 

Please old boy, have some more orange juice.

I’ve had it flown in fresh-squeezed from the islands.

 

You know, old Uncle Vanya

The Imperious,

says a man overstocked eats purely.

But surely the flanks

of roast sow you’ve licked

somewhere stung in you

like head gout?

 

Perhaps your core inclination

has been the correct one,

and suffering truly is

the more satisfying?

 

For my money

this “nonduality” schtick’s

a bit too dense and high flow.

But I ask you Sir,

must we now smoke fish to grow?

 

Sadly, I should think,

we accept this undue happiness–

with all it’s silken pleasantries–

and draw small comfort

from our stainless capacities

to lament wisely, as have the poets,

those many tortured moments

we have all glanced upon.

 

I propose we now see fit

to take our medicines in short swallows

like we sip a perfect sherry in Oxford swigs

with the full bunch of leggy madamoiselles

of this tiresome french parade…

 

Because Herschel, we have what choice?

 

Go ahead, keep the boats

and spare the wife–

 

Such I think (and you’ll agree),

are the pricklier woes

we must grieve in life.

 

                       1994

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