Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Diminishing Perspective


Dress for Less: photo by efo, 31 March 2013

Everything that once seemed near
now seems far away. On the 18, Carlos
with bandaged hand
politely tucks his 12 ounce
can into the black plastic bag
which he switches into his rucksack
and says, Got to get indoors
soon. The rain the cold. I think
I'll get off at Cedar. No
maybe Vine.

is in his sixties,
street grizzled,
a thinker
beyond his present
station, holds
a post
graduate degree
in Roman history,

one year around this season
on the pavement outside
the chain pharmacy outlet
where Christmas trees were being sold
we discussed
the Star in the East,
the Journey of the Mages,
and Mazdaism,
with a military vet
in a baseball cap

who was pissed off
beyond apparent cause
or reason
until calmed by
thoughtful words -- philosophy
a consolation
but this year
seems like
nobody's much
up for it.

Dress for Less: photo by efo, 31 March 2013


Poet Red Shuttleworth said...

Yes, the problem, all too often, is one's "present station." The scrumptious years seem otherward.

Red Shuttleworth

ACravan said...

And, based on my consumption of television and print news and most of my conversations with people, nobody much cares either, or is expected or encouraged to do so. I think about the protagonists of your poem and also about the kids emerging from colleges today feeling entirely un-carefree, drenched by the cold icewater bucket, and I really seize up. I'm so confused that even the clarifying things I try to read disorient me when I pick my head up from the book. It didn't used to be that way. Curtis

Anonymous said...

The consolation is getting harder to find, no doubt. Survival itself nearly bloodless -- which is why, maybe, we should keep pricking our fingers, none of this pinching ourselves, to insure our present station hasn't passed.

Hazen said...

It’s hard to see what good can come of a “season” that starts with Black Friday. Great poem.

Wooden Boy said...

There's consolation in the thought that such a conversation can be held in a poem, that it won't be lost in the sales stampede.

TC said...

Present situation un-care-free, survival itself nearly bloodless. The "season" that begins with a Black Friday -- didn't that used to be Easter? Then Cyber Monday, Google Giving Hang-Out-a-Thon Tuesday (just learned about that latter sacrosanct holiday when it was rammed down my eyeballs on the Google homepage), und so weiter.

No, the must-buy-days can no longer be sorted out without a calculator, now we've all been nailed permanently to the same e-billboard, the long Black Season of Bad Business that never ends.

Don't wake me until it's over.

But I will say this. The subject of this poem, as WB has sussed and as indeed is evident, is really the curious phenomenon of two educated, experienced, relatively conscious adults, neither a functional member of this abject simulacrum of a society, interacting on a city bus at night, not exactly the ideal spot for an intellectual colloquium, but then... two words out of the mouth of Carlos tell me more about life as it's currently being lived then the oceans of time-serving verbiage that continuously issue forth from the sanctum of higher learning up the hill...

And the sales stampede has passed us by completely.