Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT

At first, there's these
four pretty
poor and unpopular
schoolboys—

formerly sick
with measles
and colic, they stutter
and stammer a lot.

Uncoordinated skippers,
petrified out-loud readers,
domestic animal killers, closeted
floral painting-lovers—

each taking turns of equal duration
hating and resenting and resisting
just how similar he is
to the others.

*

After a few repetitions, they're now
four anxious and fiercely
nationalistic countries—
all running with equal swiftness

toward the mountain of glory
and its crater of oblivion—
but all four
packing so incredibly

close to its precarious rim
as to prevent any
of the others
from daring to jump in, shouting:

Germany! Italy!
Russia! Japan!
Germany! Italy!
Russia! Japan!

and so on,
systematically, but with
no endgame planned.
Until—that first weary note

of dissatisfaction kicks in,
puts a pretty
constipated-looking
human face on everything.

Then suddenly,
it's more like:
Hello, hello, hello, hello—
everyone's cool

just letting it play-out,
even going so far as
to label the whole
scene—a denial.

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