Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tis Late

Tis Late 
 
Of course the tall stringy woman
draped in a crocheted string-shawl 
 
selling single red carnations
 
coned in newsprint the ones
 
she got at the cemetery
 
and resells with a god bless you
 
for a dollar that same woman 
 
who thirty years ago
 
was a graduate student
 
in playwriting who can and will
 
recite "At the round earth's
 
imagined corners, blow--"
 
announces silently amidst her louder
 
announcements that the experiment
 
some amateurs mixed of
 
white fizzing democracy
 
with smoky purple capitalism
 
has failed. We already knew that.
 
Her madness is my madness
 
and this is my flower in a cone
 
of waste paper I stole from
 
someone's more authentic grief
 
but I will not bless you
 
as I have no spirit of commerce
 
and no returning customers
 
and do not as so many must
 
actually beg for my bread. It is another
 
accident of the lab explosion
 
that while most died and others lost legs
 
some of us are only vaguely queasy
 
at least for now 
 
and of course mad conveniently mad
 
necessarily mad because 
 
"tis late to ask for pardon" and
 
we were so carefully schooled 
 
in false hope schooled
 
like the parrot who crooks her tongue
 
like a dirty finger
 
repeating what her flat bright eyes deny.

2 comments:

Marie said...

My poetry loving heart loves this.

Charlotte said...

Wow. This is a knockout poem whose fierce images cut right into my heart. And underneath the beauty is my sadness that the poet's brilliant despair speaks to you too. There is hope elsewhere - and we'll find it.