“I find science analytical, pretentious and superficial–largely because it does not address itself to dreams, chance, laughter, feelings, or paradox–in other words, all the things I love the most.”
If I’m not mistaken,
those guys in orange jumpsuits
lean on their shovels and light cigarettes
when they ought to be digging my grave.
That blowing smoke and confidential talk—
Women are all the same.—
our brains bathed in testosterone,
it’s a wonder we notice anything at all—
where we put our specs, when’s the next train,
our kids raining tears on us
when we’d as soon they’d blink them away—much less
who we were fucking the previous scene.
I would like to add a word or two,
earned through years of quiet contemplation
and the loneliness that is a consequence—
what my wives have called my life’s work.
But I wouldn’t want it to prove awkward,
or cost these men the jobs that keep them
talking to each other—
believe me, a blessing, our days spent
hacking through this winter clay.
No matter what a dead man says,
desire will track us to the end of our days
but pummel us only in fits and starts,
not the jackhammer thrum of when we were young.
Though I’ve liked all the fitting and starting,
it’s the thrum I will miss from here on out.
Alan Walowitz is a poet who lives in Nassau County, where he keeps his eye on New York City proper from his doorstep. He teaches some days at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, and St. John’s University in Jamaica, NY.