In the south, we put the snow globes in the freezer,
so that when we took them out and smashed them
with a hammer, the snow would be cold. Sometimes,
there would be little yellow ducks that would be
struggling inside to escape the cold. They float down
the river. We try to scoop them up before they
find another globe.
The tides are easier to predict than the weather
because the number of forces acting upon them
are limited and consistent; the number of forces
acting upon the weather are infinite and variable.
This is why I have always found tides boring, and
the weather fascinating. Given the choice, though,
I would live with the tides. And eventually I would
drown of course, and become part of the weather.
SUMERIAN PROVERBS FOUND ON A HOT DAY
AFTER A TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE FOR
TUNA FISH & CRACKERS
(“History Begins at Sumer” by Samuel Noah Kramer,1959)
Everybody talks to the well-dressed man.
Except for Fred.
Irony of the Glasses
If I wore glasses, I could see the rich man
and marry him, but I cannot afford glasses.
A Shrine and a River
My wife is in the outdoor shrine.
My mother is in the river.
Is she naked?
I am starving from hunger.
And yet I have a wife and a naked mother.
He who has never had a wife or a child
has never owned a leash although he might
own a dog or a wolverine or perhaps a whirligig.
A frisky woman can take pain
and add a dollop of ache to it
who knows where she finds it?
But she does because of her
energy which is quite abundant
but not good and she is a good shopper
she loves going out in the evenings
Inquiry of Self
I am a steed
tied to a mule
who must draw a cart
who hates mules.
In my cart
are not riches
just stupid things
reeds and stubble
from my master’s yard
and beard, respectively.
Friendship lasts a day
but if you love someone
you will not die until they do
or vice versa and so forth and so on.
The blacksmith’s dog overturns the flower pot
for he cannot overturn the anvil for he is
a weak, bad dog.
After escaping the wild ox
The wild cow asked me if I was OK
I said yes and then
The wild bull gored me post haste
These are my last words
I just wanted you to know them.
He longs to catch the fox and make it into a stole
He already imagines it around his neck
while the fox imagines marrying and settling down
with a beautiful woman in a house made of pine needles.
I snuck onto my neighbor’s property and stole his house
and while I did my neighbor snuck onto my property and
stole my house
My mother was naked in the river, still.