If you haven’t filed your taxes in years
and with a dry throat call the 800 number
to be put on hold forever while dying to hang up,
tempted to one more dereliction in a life of derelictions,
or if your teenagers grieve you by apathy
and drug abuse, reminding you
of your own adolescence so you can’t draw the line
without feeling hypocritical,
or if you cultivate a false smile over coffee
because you went to bed angry at your mate,
pretending to polite conversation
while entertaining fantasies of divorce,
or if you write a hopeful piece
instead of your usual blue ramblings
and fear others will find it facile, your art
of no account, just therapy for the overeducated,
then reach out through the stillness
for a thimbleful of light poured
into your words without measure.
Look! It is already in your palm.
(published in Kimera (print))
This poem is the fifth in the second part of Sine Wave, showing the gradual elevation of the speaker's mood. I love saying that a poem is "self-explanatory," like this one, because that means I didn't overdo it, didn't require too much of the reader, didn't obfuscate my meaning by overindulgence in form. Those who have taken my poetry tutorial know whereof I speak. Speaking of which, I'm still teaching the course and the link is on the left, below. References on request. I think most of my former students will say it's one of the best bargains on the net.