Archive: 2007

Watching From Across The Room As An Eleven-Year-Old Reads "Animal Farm"Assassins With SlingshotsGalileo, The BadassEwan Of The ‘45A Three-Speed Fan In HellDerailmentMagritte's "Lovers"

Watching From Across The Room As
An Eleven-Year-Old Reads "Animal Farm"

I've introduced him, surreptitiously
perhaps, to Napoleon and Snowball,
the work-strong Boxer and the ever
vain Mollie, keepers of the former
Manor Farm.

                    I tempted him with its
brevity and its cover, horse and pig
staring sideways in suspicion, one
no more lord of Mr. Jones' land
than the other.

                         I led him easily
enough to Orwell's not quite simple
words, knowing full well what rests
beneath, the long shadow cast by
such a brief tale.

                              And I consider it
a kind of a coup to show him a
world where the animals aren't such
cartoons, aren't born of a plastic
mold and would almost never consent
to the indignity of a merchandise deal.

Assassins With Slingshots

Like assassins with slingshots,
we miss far more than we hit,
fumbling at the point of release,
oblivious to the scattered
results, a mess beyond our
concern.

The whites of their eyes no longer
matter, hidden as they are behind
permanent shades where statistics
don’t bleed, accounts don’t lie
and the dead stack themselves
for the privilege.

Like assassins with slingshots,
we’re down to the essentials,
to the elemental, dependent on
nothing more than a steady hand,
a clear shot and the eternal
speculation of hope.

Galileo, The Badass

Galileo, come to find, was
a badass in his day, unable
to suffer fools for very long,
a virtue of infinite worth.

Logic his weapon of choice
and brandished freely,
punctuating arguments of
a lesser grade, bearing the
pettiness native to such
easy ignorance.

Half-blind and confined,
heart-broken and telescoping
death, he still managed a
new science or two, still
cast his long, furrowed shadow.

Vindication came, as it so
often does, far too late and
hesitantly at that, his
penalty and prize for the
audacity of vision and the
gall enough to ask.

Ewan Of The ‘45

What would Ewan of the ‘45
have said had he known, all
those years ago, that one day
one of his kin, a beauty from
his clan, would bed down with
someone like me, that a square
of his plaid would hang along
side an Italian crest with
Spanish descent, that his
Scottish blood would mingle
with a foreign strain to create
a life of mixed extract?

Would he have gathered the
family on the Highlands, fresh
from the Jacobite fight, and
sworn to the restoration of
her honor? Would he have
marched on our home, a
drummer boy in tow, weapons
at the ready, demanding an
end to our love? A request,
I can say now as I would have
then, that lies securely on
the simple side of impossible.

A Three-Speed Fan In Hell

Useful like a three-speed fan in hell
is how the words feel some days
tumbling as they do from a granite
tongue and chalk-like teeth,
destined to dissolve at the first
signs of rain, fleeting in a temporary
world, historical only to those who
know where to look, resting unbound
on the edges of a battlefield, the
skirmish site of those who approach
with something akin to reason.

Derailment

Confronting the day
a crisis at a time when she turns
the corner, all purposeful stride
and shimmery walk, remaining
several steps ahead of me and
offering up proof yet again that
a perfect pair of stockinged calves
with muscles just so can easily
derail just about any
train
of
thought.

Magritte's "Lovers"

They kiss a kiss only lovers can,
their mouths darkened by shadow,
his knowledge of her clockwise
swirl, her proclivity to trace his
lips. But, limited as we are, we
only assume they kiss beneath
those covers. They may be trading
secrets or carrying on an ancient
fight, telling tales or passing a
key to unshackle limbs from an
unseen chair. They are lovers, or
so we're led to believe - we don't
know what they do, only what
we think we'd do in their place.