Sunday, June 10, 2018

Epiphany


“I have it!” they scream,
Bursting from dark laboratories,
Clutching a sheaf of arcane scribbles
Or a half-exploded beaker,
Eyes alight with a fervid passion
That frankly makes me nervous,
And crowing that they’ve found the secret
To great sex, endless love,
Spiritual fulfillment, and retirement savings.
They look so proud of their hard-won discovery –
So eager to share it with an adoring world –
So self-impressed and fierce in their belief –
That I’m not certain I have the heart to tell them

How I was never looking for the formula.
I was never in the market for secondhand bliss.
I was only ever looking for something improbable –
So fortuitous, in fact, as to seem ridiculous –
And utterly unrepeatable –
And of course, like everything we know of,
Working hard at vanishing.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wisdom


If you're not part of the fun, you're part of the bummer.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Networking

 
"Networking" is such an ugly word. I prefer the term "forming superficial social connections to later exploit for economic gain."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Old Soul


I know I'm an old soul because my soul is constantly complaining about the temperature and reminiscing about how cheap everything used to be.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Onward


Time has a way of kneading out the knots,
Untangling the string, tracing the true path,
Unveiling to the hindsight what the foresight failed,
In all its lancet-eyed vaingloriousness, to see.

Time, the great killer, is a healer too –
Mellowing pain, and letting wisdom grow
In the dark earth made fertile by bleak fire.
Time does not love us, but we grow in time,
Gaining in strength, in wounds, in memory,
In scars of hate, God willing in love too.

Is there a better way?  Not that we know.
We clutch and climb; we tumble backward, fall;
We rise and climb again, with weary strength,
Not knowing what awaits us on the way,
Or what new vistas glimmer from the peak,
But sure that up is up, and falling’s fine,
And even makes a better story when
We reach the top and meet whoever’s there.

Is all this comfort?  Let’s not hope to say.
But if you pass me on the straggling climb,
And meet my eyes with yours, and speak no word,
I’ll hear, in some far-buried cave in me,
A soundless whisper preach tenacity.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Train Stations at Night

 
If a train station in the fog
At one or two in the morning
With a late train speeding past it
And a single lamp showing as a blur

Is not the acme of loneliness,
Then please don’t tell me what is,
Because I don’t think I could bear to hear it;
Even the station is almost too much.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Heroes

 
Every moment is an opportunity for heroism,
Though probably not the burning-building kind –
Unless you happen to be in a building
Which happens to be burning,
In which case please stop reading this poem
And save at least yourself.

The rest of you, consider heroism
Not as a seven-story leap through fire,
But as a way of breathing, smiling, cocking your head,
Sipping your coffee, unwrapping a chocolate bar.

Think of Paul Newman.  He did ordinary things –
Onscreen and in “real life” –
Let’s say about half the time.
But it was Newman doing them, and so
The can of beer he popped or the dog he scratched
Attained a kind of mythic meaning for
Us onlookers – and maybe for him, too.

You’re not Paul Newman, I assume.  But still.
You could do dull things a little less dully.
You could maybe even do magical things,
Unthinkable to you now, if you begin
With a dog or a beer or a chocolate bar
Or putting on boots, or calling an old friend.

And meanwhile, if you see that person from
The first stanza – the one whose shirt’s on fire –
Please roll him (gently!) on the ground for me,
And offer him a little of Paul Newman’s beer,
Which Paul, who knew how thirsty we might get,
Heroically, mythically, simply, left behind.