Daily Archives: February 2, 2012

“We Might Have Had the Pleasure”

“We Might Have Had the Pleasure”

We might have had the pleasure had the time
Been right, and happenstance left us free
To choose a spot in which to plant a seed, perhaps a tree–
An eternity in a second chapter of a virgin field–or raise a kind
Of sacred dust while gathering pumice redolent of recognitions due,
Trusted as errata from the ancient books amongst
The monks’ and elephants’ litanies of growing sorrows
in a blighted land, and struck the bell or raised the trunk
To trumpet all that is the last hour, the last of majesties renewed;
These, remembrances of the whole, recreations stark
Against a wall of shrinking orisons charged to do
What they’ve always done. These, the memory of all that’s due
The earth, reunion of hosts in perennial remembrance of the Ark
Of their salvation. These, the gifts and treasures of the last great flood replaced,
Secured once more within Pandora’s jar, the behemoths’ sacred bones,
as tree rings, tablets stained, some broken, some  tattered but never erased.

”How Many Times?”

“How Many Times?”

How many times must he shave before he dies?
Alarms; no need of them, he’s awake.
He sees an opal there among the numerals, stakes
A claim on what he is, and turns his eyes
To base reality: a simple twist; he’s beat
The clock again. What follows—once up—
Is what he’s done to predicate this morning’s cup:
The machine is on, the light’s still red; he defeats
The kitchen and deftly sallies to the bathroom to drain
The swamps of all the night before and address the mirror―pain,
A serious reconnoitring, gazing, remembering what he’s gained,
Enthusiasm―so who was that man late last night? The same,
Perhaps, but more. He does not flinch before a silvered mask
That greets him in the glass: he’ll simply shave and let it pass.