bluff

Ok, well. I stand on a bluff looking out at the panoramic sea.

I have to move my head from side to side to take it all in

the exacting musculature and bone-frame of the neck

allow for this lateral back-and-forth of the evolved human head

so there is some evolutionary advantage to Taking it All In

beyond the usual predatory lookey-loo

one only supposes

is that really the curve of the earth out there

one degree of whose circumference

is 69 unimpressive miles.

This place is cramped and puny

you call this a planet

i've been to the movies

seems they're usually a lot bigger

you have to go all the way to the moon

to get any majesty out of this one

this sense of seeing curvature

is likely a dumb little illusion fostered by the nagging need

to see the bigger picture at every pass

it hasn’t yet been determined to anyone’s satisfaction

that there is even a little picture

so why the childish fever to see the big one

but some of us are looking for something

a contact lens on shag carpet.

 

My relative passed away yesterday (my cousin, I should say)

he spent his entire life calling himself by a kid’s name

a diminutive ending with a Y

as if his disappointment at adulthood

might be mitigated by a happy and beloved 8-year-old’s nickname

it didn’t quite work, as he was felled by Lou Gehrig’s disease

whose diagnosis he had received on a doctor’s visit

while overseeing his wife’s brain tumor

so the Radio Flyer takes off down the hill

and strikes a parked garbage truck

one of my cousin’s many friends commiserated by computer

posted a crying cartoon face to transmit sorrow

her self-selected computer profile photo

shows her on blowsy haunches

roasting a marshmallow over a junkyard fire.

we’ve set aside the gift of language

and excitedly re-adopted the hieroglyph

to the amazement and frustration of the lower animals

if you want help from God don’t ask too earnestly

we’re told He answers all prayers, though often the answer is No

which would seem to place Him firmly in the shrine

of the tossed coin

i would suggest His reply is always yes, as in

‘yes, I’m happy to oil the wheels of your Radio Flyer’.