ILIAD

Rage -- my dearest Achilles --
is no emotion
but a benchmark,
a checkpoint,
a return
that swells out of nothing
into nothing,
(from something small, perhaps,
into something large)
triggered by no false hope
or dashed dream
but, instead dinner parties
and well-provided-fors
and, before you know it,
over the roar of the television
(because, Thank G-d,
you can now afford cable,
am I right?)
you are neck deep
in darkness,
alone and pulling the silken sheets
up to your chin.

Oh, how the injustice stings your eyes--
once you are able to see that light, friend--
because reality has been generous
with the all-too-morose display
of you and your feet parallel beneath you:
not even one pinky toe out of the two you possess (!!)
dares to caress the doorframe,
as the world, rolling over and over,
passes you by and takes your seat center orch
because this is general admission, dummy.

Getting mad?
Getting hot, now, hunh baby?!
The anger building,
churning underneath your tectonic skin,
(and who spells huh with an N in the middle of it anyway?)
until, one day,
you see a young boy standing
hand-in-hand
at the bus stop
with Nanny dearest,
bright-eyed, wary,
collar gently pressed,
clean and hair combed;
he is a remembrance of you,
some Anglo-Saxon specter of a past Presbyterian self,
tempered, though, by the reflection
of a tired, old face
attached to a head
on a body
unfamiliar to you, 
wearing the Emperor's clothes,
standing stationary
as the cars swoosh by:
How did you get here?
you ask,
but only if you've been paying attention.

You deserve it,
every moment,
don't you get it?
Point to point,
every fraction of an inch
soon becomes a mile;
every strike eludes .500

The churning goes on,
and you may have escaped the volcanic future this time, lad,
but boy oh boy
man oh man
it is there and there
and everywhere
so cling to those unconventional spellings
and the silken sheets, stud,
because even the tide
comes in twice a day,
nature's Da Capo
where you'll swim
or you'll drown
simply by where you've decided
to nap on the beach.

 

 

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