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Wondering with words

by Kevin T. McEneaney
Wed Mar 27th, 2019

Sometimes I would walk down

Riverside Drive by Ulysses Grant’s Tomb,

stopping at Barnes & Noble

on Broadway and 82nd Street

to use their clean restroom.

 

Last year I browsed through Poetry,

feeling depressed at about 800 volumes.

I had read a few of the poets:

Dante, Homer, Pushkin, and Frost,

yet there were many new scribblers

I did not know, spending an hour

perusing unalleviated, drab nonsense.

 

I stopped by again a year later

with faint memories of melted snow

filling mental corners of my cerebellum

like fuzzy, gray, dust bunnies.

The cold metal chairs were welcome.

 

When I checked the Poetry Section,

the roster of players was reduced to seventeen.

Homer’s Odyssey was still there

and a collection of Bukowski’s blathering boasts.

The other fifteen were recent unknowns.

 

I wanted to ask the Ever-living Muse

if Homer will be there next year,

but the Muse was comatose bored.

She pointed out a local bar

where if I had the money,

 I might discover what it’s like

 to be lively words without a house,

as often happened to wandering Odysseus.

 

Ah, the grand futility of poetry

in times of intense tragedy

must revert to irreverent comedy!