Sunday, October 21, 2007
Love's Old Sweet Song
Speaking of failed first marriages and much happier second ones--as I sort of was last time around--reminds me that I've been waiting for a "right" moment to post my Hegelian trio of marriage poems, built around one ending and another starting. So why not today? Think of these as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis; as the song says, Love is friendlier the second time around...
My Vasectomy Comes of Age
Lengthy marriages acquire an Oriental cast:
Each that isn’t Mao’s Long March,
A triumph of revolutionary principles,
Becomes instead the walk across Bataan,
With every decent impulse abandoned or dead.
I left all sperm somewhere along that road—
Marriage itself later—dying
To do my part for the regiment of populations.
On hospital TV sets, the vid of my X-
Rated operation proved a hit, the first “how to”
In ball-shaving and vas-snipping.
Blessed with worryless sex ever since,
A model citizen of that threatened state, I’ve yet
Fumbled through seventy-seven hundred nights of dread…
At worst, unmanned; at best, more vague and less
Ambitious. Or was that “the vasectomy in the skull”?
Whenever my testicles ache now, I wonder
What mutant elements coil there,
Waiting. Whoever persuaded me
That two children could be enough
Was never a father. Year after year I absorb
My own unborn, the hairs on my head grow
Scarcer, each new poem swims in grief,
Going nowhere fast.
What scrutably comes of age is this despair.
In Defense of Flat Chocolate Wedding Cakes
Any time, love is a nervous condition.
On the sunwheel plaza high up each
pyramid of the Valley of the Sun,
Aztec priests got right to the heart
of the matter: the Cakes of Heaven
are seldom a body’s bread.
Nor should the hopeful couple approve
some half-baked cylinder shaped
like Chichen Itza’s Well of Maiden Sacrifice.
(Not that far removed, politically speaking.)
Imagine the usual sugary concoction,
small man atop clearly in reduced circumstances,
and the tiny woman, had she but tongue
to vent her anguish, shrieking like the Sidhe.
Neither would choose to live in such
a triple-tiered suite of dubious taste…
Let other weddings take the cake for show
biz. Our “I do’s” will not be
symbolically or otherwise consumed
at the Drive-in Chapel of Confectioners’ Dreams.
Marriage can be short and dark and give
you several raspberries. Chew on this
to remember our cock-eyed optimism.
As one into two goes two,
You into me into you
Makes two ones joined together,
A number greater than one
That yet transcends two alone.
Subtract either one of us,
The sum is the same, but less,
No better than a fraction,
One requiring correction.
Still, when rightly multiplied,
One times one won’t be denied.
Divide us by space or time,
Our total will remain prime
No matter where we two are,
Our unity rooted square.
Whether counted one or two—
You/me paired, or me-plus-you—
When the math of love is done,
Two into two exceeds none;
One over one becomes one.