We’re here, just like you thought we were here, But not for long, so don’t get your hopes up, At least not that much as who knows what Might happen even before we get to the end. Isn’t that what you’ve heard somewhere, That even though you’re certainly having one Hell of a time, it will soon fade, and then, very Likely, you might not even remember who Was where, at least I can’t, and please say Exactly why you can remember everyone You’ve ever kissed, or smooched a bit, or Held a hand, heck, it’s hard just to remember Anything yesterday, let alone all the times We’ve been in contact with someone else Out there, so just don’t try to make a big Deal out of it, and enjoy what you have Right now, because believe me, and I’m Not the only one who knows this, it’s More than likely not going to turn out Like you hoped it would, and why should It, after all, that would be something like Listening to the same old 45 over and over And who has 45’s anyway, so please don’t Open up that old closet of yours and Pull down or sort through all of those Albums you’ve collected and not listened To for years, and remember, every single One of them is going to sound a bit scratchy, And will probably disappoint something Huge, but that’s what’s going to happen If you keep going back through all your Stuff like that, so just call up the haul Away your old memories guy as he’ll Make more money on what you’ve Forgotten than you could ever believe, Really, so what’s wrong with that, And he’ll play them once or twice, Nodding and maybe even boogying Down a bit like he used to, but then He’ll sell them to a dealer, and then They’ll just collect dust until some Old fan will finger her way through What was yours, and then, well, sheer Delight for her, and you, sadly will Be not in the mood for any music, No sir, as you’ll be out of here, no Memories whatsoever, as you’re not Here, even though you pretended That you’d be here on an unlimited Visit, but that’s the problem, isn’t It, we just don’t know what’s next Do we, even though we saunter a Bit thinking this is it, something we All want to savor, so go ahead savor, But somewhere in that poor brainpan Of yours remember, you’re already Gone.
So-So, So Let’s Order Carry-Out
But not terribly so-so, or hugely so-so, just sort of so-so Though few will know what in the world is that, but then Not everyone has such a clown smile on for special effects, And perhaps when the door is closed, and no one is watching, Perhaps the lips rise slightly in hopes that somebody Somewhere, somehow, some way might start shouting to The rooftops just like when “Beale” shouts in “Network,” and You know the lines don’t you, it’s pretty much how all of us Feel about now, fed up with just about everything that’s Going on, and not going on, so go ahead, say it in your head, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Except we’re probably going to take it just like we’ve been Taking it, and probably will for a very long-time way into The future, but that sounds a bit lame, doesn’t it, as if We have no real future, even if as the ancient priests Wondered, whether the Sun would return after seeing it Disappear, so let’s get up early and pray a lot hoping the Best for light, and if the light doesn’t return, let’s just Go back to bed, as the lights are still out, not only outside, But inside, as the stars aren’t even blinking every now And then, and so we’re hopeful, of course, but for what None of us are quite sure as so much has been such a Huge disappointment, but hey, did you say it was time For adult refreshments, so, heck, let’s order carry-out.
Then, There’s That
Of course, no one expected what would happen happen just Like that, but isn’t that the way most of our well laid plans End up, so surprisingly different than what anyone would Have ever imagined, but why, for heaven’s sake, did any one Think things would go just as we planned back then, even if Back then was so long ago, though no one even has any notes To see exactly what everyone got so horribly wrong, but then, Almost everyone, not everyone, goes into shaking-head Syndrome, and a kind of pitiful laugh saying, well it really Wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be, in fact, It could have been so much worse, but now, no one wants To even commiserate on what that awful clusterfuck could Have been, how could they, for don’t they know that no One, no one really has any idea how any of this will end up.
DeWitt Clinton taught English, Creative Writing, and World of Ideas courses for over 30 years at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater. Recent collections include At the End of the War (Kelsay Books, 2018), By A LakeNear A Moon: Fishing with the Chinese Masters (Is A Rose Press, 2020), and Hello There (Word Poetry, 2021).His most recent collectionwas awardedthe 2022 Edna Meudt Poetry Book Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. He is a student of Iyengar Yoga, and occasionally substitutes as a yoga instructor for seniors in The Village of Shorewood, Wisconsin.