Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Love, Play and Enjoy Yourself

As boys we were quite good,
pooling our chemistry sets,
living up to the president’s idea of going to the moon
so no one notices anyone falling off rocking fears
and the humdrum comes on strong.
TV had just unfolded angels from thin air
in the presence of beehive minds,
aunts patiently waiting in horned-rimmed glasses
and all of California prepared to slide into the Pacific
as if everything were already entangled enough so no one would notice,
dulled by a plot ticking at the end like sparklers held over the bay from a dock,
waiting for daylight to kick open leaf prints on sidewalks
preemptively calling the whole thing off over an offhand cold spell
after Jupiter swung around in line with Saturn
bringing back the old spheres piercing us
as we pick apart the spectrums of stars
and seem to have it made, even those just learning
not to laugh at church with its elongated shadows
for every mouth harp and kazoos we pull from lapels.
But as if the tipsy pastor were a holy fool
working mysteriously with reverse psychology and a model libido
kept corked, his Bunsen burner’s feeble blue flames
were enough a cue to hobble together sulfur and iron filings
into little pellets dropped in test tubes, stashed away
as we gathered the hydrochloric for when the time came,
following the formula for century gases in the World Book Encyclopedia.

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