Friday, February 21, 2020


All throughout
history, the people longed
to take it easy.

The wisest 
in society were the first 
to notice clumps

of warm rocks, straight 
trunks, a thick 
dry stump, eventually 

evolving the chair, 
the high stool, the plump 
couch, the chaise lounge, 

and finally, the throne
with its baroque contortions 
of polished oak and its

rare earth metals
embedded across its splat and crest—
whatever worked best 

to instill reverence and congeniality, 
imbuing its incumbent 
with dignity and grace.

The physics came easy:
any sitter would have to concede
to a taller chair of power,

the closer to their
indentured artists' conceptions
of heaven, the better.

But that was before 
the painted sky they'd been praising
began peeling and falling 

in shreds from the ceiling. 
The desperate populace 
in the streets, all alarmist 

and starving 
from generations of bending and 
kneeling and standing and running,

had no choice but to eat it.
Unfortunately, the lead 
made them all go crazy.

After that it was the noble
who were in trouble.
Everything they excelled at—

sitting tall, keeping still, 
receiving wisdom 
from above, sending help,

preaching hope, 
invoking love—was worse 
than useless.

In this pandemic, faith 
was a deadly placebo; the 
only cure was doing work.