Friday, August 20, 2010



We begin the day thinking
we will write a sonnet.
But how quickly everything
turns to prose. Quiet
letters at the beginning
tell us that. What
else do they tell us?
That we are careless,
too careless perhaps?
That life is like that,
a gradual turning
to prose? Then
each of us must take
a stand, pro or con,


and if the judgment goes
against us, well, that's
life, isn't it? We die,
and our death is described
in prose, because when
you come right down
to it, we weren't important
enough for a sonnet.
And that's the sad thing,
death without a form
to funnel it into, getting
rid of it that way,
the way we would some
foul liquid no one


wanted to drink.
But can you blame us?
By now it probably has
little pieces of stink-
ing stuff all over it.
And who knows what
diseases are inside it
as silent as liquid bells,
but with fingers that
reach out to strangle
our most delicate whim?
And in the end what
can we do but swim
for it, and what


can we do in the end
but drown, hoping
a sonnet will bring
our death to something
great like a fast game
of baseball? And if it doesn't
happen, well, we mustn't
give up because there's
still prose to put it
into the way we would
some nose that wasn't
pretty or a car that
brought us nothing but grief
along that long highway of life.


Sometimes the beginning's
a true beginning.
Then everyone breathes
a little easier, heaves
a sigh as the rime
falls closer to the end.
And isn't that what we've
always wanted, time
that we could bend
the way a plumber
does a pipe that
doesn't fit? Or
maybe that's not it
after all. Beginning's


are like that, never
betraying the end
until quite a bit later.
No, they are not
at all like the friend
who feels he's got
to tell us about the movie
we had wanted to see,
but can't now because,
let's face it, he's
robbed us of whatever chance
we had to experience
whatever it was we
thought we


wanted to experience.
Is it just by chance
that we now find
ourselves at the beginning
of sonnet number seven
(and that, in fact, the seventh
line is already upon us,
then gone like some
jet-propelled moment
we had wanted to savor
but couldn't because,
let's face it, "time
marches on")? Rime
does too, only


not quite as fast.
But does it matter?
Isn't this the twentieth
century, complete with
automobiles that almost
drive themselves and
"liberated" verse? Not
to mention bananas
(did I almost forget
to mention bananas?).
So you see, my friend,
rime isn't everything, and,
if we are lucky, life goes
on even in prose.

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