Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Allegations

—after John Ashbery

You stood on the sidelines laughing

as the colorful parade passed

and joked about fallen comrades saving us

from ourselves. I laughed, not a belly laugh

that covers a hollowness that contains us,

gives us our sense of being-there

but one inching and retreating as if not a laugh at all,

not hearty anyways, but helpful, so the balance can shore up

a balanced life. So touchy, how now

touching off upstate dancers with their gaudy truths

that would teach the townspeople before turning in

the hard plots need back-hoes more than a shovel of men

for backed-up situations, you find it pleasant among
the daffodils weed-whacked off the road as man becomes man
and the poetry is here, in the empty corridor alone with your ear.

It’s fun to see from above without looking up.

You’re from the first wave of peasants lying low,

taught to enjoy the collage of life’s peccadilloes

in torn cubist recumbence, letting others carry

on the joy of caring, ushering others down the same

corridor of self, reflecting our world as it is

without hope, amen, we made it this far. And we’re off.

(Nov. 4, 2014)

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