A Quick One Before I Go
By David Lehman
There comes a time in every man's life
when he thinks: I have never had a single
original thought in my life
including this one & therefore I shall
eliminate all ideas from my poems
which shall consist of cats, rice, rain
baseball cards, fire escapes, hanging plants
red brick houses where I shall give up booze
and organized religion even if it means
despair is a logical possibility that can't
be disproved I shall concentrate on the five
senses and what they half perceive and half
create, the green street signs with white
letters on them the body next to mine
asleep while I think these thoughts
that I want to eliminate like nostalgia
0 was there ever a man who felt as I do
like a pronoun out of step with all the other
floating signifiers no things but in words
an orange T-shirt a lime green awning
Remember my pretty azaleas?
I haven't seen a single photo that really shows how iridescent their wings are.
They have long legs and feel very substantial when you pick them up -- more like holding an amphibian than holding an insect. But they are very clumsy; they are always falling off leaves and landing on their backs, and they can't roll themselves over! We spend a lot of time just flipping cicadas upright so they can move again.
It looks like rain today, and they are very loud; it sounds like someone is shooting phasers at the next town over.
the_reverand told me about this book, The Book of Old Ships, by Henry B. Culver and Gordon Grant, that I looked up on Amazon.com and half.com and discovered had been reprinted cheaply, but there were a bunch of people selling the original hardcover in decent shape minus the dust jacket for less than the paperback reprint, and the hardcover has some color illustrations on heavy paper...anyway I ordered it, and it came yesterday, along with Patrick O'Brian's Men-Of-War (that one was ordered before it became obvious that we would have to replace the station wagon and I would be broke for the foreseeable future, so this is my last fun splurge other than ROTK next week). Am now in ship geek heaven.
Today I am going to see gblvr! And to buy my older son shorts, since he has outgrown all of his and my younger son has inherited them. My older son has baseball practice tonight so I think only my younger son and I are dining with my parents. And tomorrow my in-laws are coming for the various sports. My mother wants to go see my cousin in a school play on Sunday and I am trying to decide whether I can handle seeing relatives that many days in a row...