The Present is also present. TV, por ejemplo–
espanol that because Rachel Maddow says it,
I can too. Look again: Tommie Smith, John
Carlos raising their fists in Mexico City
forty-three years ago, where I was young.
Keith Olbermann devotes most of his hour
five nights a week to Occupy Wall Street,
Occupy Minneapolis, New Orleans, Seattle,
San Francisco . . . even Missoula, Montana,
where Dick Hugo would rise up like a fist
if angels were not on strike . . . Occupy Earth,
Occupy . . . Heaven and Hell and give them
at least a civil marriage, like Will Blake was
wont to say, though he urged “marriage,”
and so we dither farther into the countryside
of the wholly recidivist twenty-first century,
the one that begins in the caves circa 9/11
and will soon bring us Oliver Cromwell’s
Roundheads beheading Irish, heads stacked
atop poles. Only ghosts go wherever they will,
and here they are, but nowhere to be seen,
I’ll have you know, not as long as God rules.
Whose name is Grover Norquist. No wonder
he’s a preacher, or so the pundits would have
its dutiful audience know, glued to living room
perches, doing whatever a ship needs to have
done, looking up to see what’s on the screen
when from time to time the ocean goes still,
. . . Isn’t this a gas? Remember how Dachau
was so close to Munich you could walk there?
Even though the TV’s on, I sleep too much.
I don’t know why. My wife keeps me up.
She lets me do what I want with her and I do.
I want to go back and live in Mexico City,
malgre tout, and my love would go with me.
(Inspired by the last eighteen lines of Book I
of “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower,” by the
good doctor, William Carlos Williams)
(12 October 2011)
copyright 2011 by Floyce Alexander