Today a future welfare recipient was born.
Bad luck for him since poetry will only be
an idea other people had who weren’t too smart
about reality and progress. Nobody ever crossed
a Bridge Of Sighs to get to the other side. And
none fallen into the Perfume River to climb out,
their sense of smell almost entirely nil. You
for instance, flit this way and that in your attentions.

I throw myself off the building, can I land
on the boss? Will I land on someone else? Is it
time to reveal my miracle? Will I walk in hippo poo
and not be anywhere near a zoo? Giving a mystic
minute or two to Yogananda, Krishnamurti,
Sri Chinmoy and Lao-tze, you find a final stop
where no prospects exist, the props for a ghost town:
there Karma’s an election every four years.

You’re sitting with broken teeth, no hope of
leaving the city while you know Death’s not coming
for you, you’ve got its number: angry, perhaps
disappointed and certain of this anyway, you
will have stopped asking questions about anything
forever long before you notice there isn’t anyone
standing beside you when you inquire politely
after those who used to be alive when you knew them.

©Dean Baker

©All Rights Reserved

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