That man behind the golden specs may not be the man you think.
He is not yours. He is not God’s or State’s. Not postmodernistic,
as those the colleges pump out like seed, he’s anachronistic,
in his love of laissez-faire and the huge high sunset sky of pink.
Lecturing on Lorca in Lima or the Physiocrats
in France, he’s seen it all, from here to the Ivory Coast.
He’s so amped, with such indefatigability, that he almost
never sleeps. He haunts the city streets and all-night laundromats.
Possesses memory to burn, can be argumentative.
Loathes all progressive, egalitarian, socialistic thought.
Blue-collar to the bone, knows a little about a lot:
Autodidactic worker, polyphiloprogenitive.
For years he’s lived on books, black coffee, the breathing bell above.
Nothing gets to him like the so-called hypothetical.
An American thinker, he’s inherently ascetical —
atheist, yes, but versed in Christ, whose symbol is the dove.
Self-mortification was once his vessel against the living flesh.
His soul, then, seemed to him stretched across those empty skies at night
which drain behind the city blocks and tangerine city light.
The ship of his body pierced the sucking waves that beat and thresh.
Still, he always lights the puma lady’s cigarette.
Manners (like goodness, which is absolute) never go out of date.
And yet when the October night comes crashing down like a metal gate,
sadness invariably strikes. The feline makes him sweat.
As the body without the spirit is dead because the two enmesh
(when has something born not died? what lives? and when will you exist?),
so the human brain thinks, that the body might also persist.
You are physical in the end. It is the way of all flesh.