Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Looking Back

I argued this morning with Moriarty,
my muse,
an argument I started by implying a desire
that she whisk me ahead to a future time
so’s to ponder in retrospect the vicissitudes
of this portentous year, and what comes after.

Her immediate response was Huh? Why
should you give a shit about...what? What’s
with the big words, anyway? Who in hell
are you trying to impress...ohwaaaitaminute!
You’d better not be putting this conversation
into one of your ridiculous poems! You aren’t,
are you??

Twinning the question marks was my clue
that this was about to become one of our more
revealing exchanges of honest questions and
perfunctory insults, in which I ordinarily
come out with more questions than I had
going in. I knew if I was not careful
she would switch into her sweetie-pie mode
making it impossible for me to quote her
without losing face with my legions of
aficionados who imagine a virile
beret-wearing, macho-dude-type-yet-
sublimely-sensitive, scholastic-scoffing
conveyor of deeply mined insightful
rationalizations. I had to proceed with

Nah, just taking notes, Dear. I was just hoping
maybe we could, you know, flutter ahead a tad
beyond the present? Couple, three weeks at most?
Just to see if I’m gonna survive these damned
enzymes or invisible paprika bits, you know, so
I’ll know if I should start going through my
boxes and things, you know, get rid of some,
umm, things, you know?

She told me to stop sniveling (not sure she meant
precisely that word), and, in a sneering tone, asked
what had happened to my grand poetic vision
to look back upon the year…bwaaaahahahaha, and I
weighed her implications with serious intent...and finally said
Yeah, to hell with it. Just a silly whim.

                                                                                                                                     m.d. paust


  1. How our high-sounding words camouflage (!) our grubby wishes.