As Tho I’d Never Existed

November 21, 2015


ericphoto copy.jpg

by Eric Chaet

I return to my work again:
it’s as tho I’d never existed
the river of cars rolls by
no driver notices me walking toward the mill
my wife’s redecorating for the nth time
it’s as tho I’d never muttered anything coherent
bigots & candidates for acclaim on all sides
resume their denunciations of whoever withholds
unreserved allegiance to their crusades & rationales
it’s as tho I’d never left my mother
or picketed the Columbia, Missouri post office
books, recordings, films
pour out of Manhattan, London, Nashville, L.A., Mumbai
those without shelter hunt for shelter
calcium & phosphate ions move between bones & blood
back & forth, acceleration & deceleration
people with more money than they need
put it into & take it out of stocks & bonds
incumbents try to control insurgents
insurgents try to stay alive & replace incumbents
reporters relay official pronouncements
they don’t comprehend or question
entrepreneurs & marketing executives fuel up on coffee
(pesos & dollars are exchanged electron by electron)
& wrack their brains trying to estimate
how much of what those with a lot of money will buy
& those with a little, but a lot in aggregate, will buy
if prompted, & how soon, & how prompted?
explosives are exploded & more explosives are produced
people die & others are born
likewise bacteria, insects, & mice
seeds & spores, flowers & fruit, winter & spring
it’s as tho I’d never invented the wheel & axle
as tho I’d never set photosynthesis going
never lifted a weight, operated a press, washed dishes
as tho I’d never lost a week of nights of sleep
fearful all the efforts I’d invested—
when I invest, I invest myself!—
would spiral down the drain
as tho I’d never hunted & deployed a plug!

I roll up my sleeves:
it’s thrilling to return to work again
a million times more skillful & less ignorant—
still daunted, yet more powerful than the first time I began
or even the last time—
& no one any more aware of it now, than then!



metanoia composure series


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