Like the philosopher’s difficult handwriting. . .
Like the philosopher’s difficult handwriting,
Popular in certain traditions, history
Ultimately turns out the same, slobbering
Over a six-string July in the shadow
Of the granite Menhir by the doorway
Menacing us with a fluttering eyelid –
A fine friend, always telling you
The way he could feel, that ironist.
They love to sit and stare at the people
And the hot fried garbage, fruits
Of our so-delicate stratification.
And not even the rhetoric of journalistic
Social science will take that away from us.
We do everything correctly the first time thru’.
I remember them growing more vigorously in the past. . .
My friends tell me not to feel too bad
For the time away from the page, participating
In obscene, shadow-hushed rites
With domestics and persons of no fixed residence
But it’s less than a good thing
And I can’t credit memory like before,
What with the near cosmos a mystery, plants
And animals swelling outrageously, or not at all.
Maybe you’ve seen the rhesus macaques
With their pancake faces staring at you,
Pulling the water stops from your pickup?
And now it’s really coming down hard:
The monkeys flee a rampant tyrannosaurus, one
Pulling your keys from the ignition as she departs.
Good News Everyone
But that species of Protestantism wouldn’t survive Long-overdue changes to men’s neckwear practices, Much to the relief of the taciturn Swiss laboring Under high stress conditions in tight-fitting collars – Though at the time they gave no thought at all To the forthcoming age of the plunging v-neck t-shirt With its naïve politics and diluted cocaine; To them, it seemed spring had finally arrived After an overlong hiatus: green grass Spread to the very lip of the stony tomb From which we emerged an intermediary deity After a couple nights’ rest, having by then lived A man’s life, waking at dawn to feed the chickens, Repenting our youthful transgressions, living A quiet existence in rural Minnesota, dying finally When no donor of matching blood type could be found.Ryan Saul Cunningham’s work has appeared in such alliteratively-sequenced publications as Prelude, Potluck, and the Portland Review. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in comparative literature.