Reasons to Despise Being Literary

by J. Estanislao Lopez

You know exactly the caliber of human being
you’re not. The birds are old news in the ongoing
docket of the beautiful. You jot inconsequential notes:
The Spanish morir (to die) recalls the English, more.
A slant rhyme: serenaded to; serrated tooth.
You know that, as Keats died, he did so in the throngs

of unrelenting failure. Your apologies are too well crafted,
and so read as insincere. You insist the world sloshes around
like fluid in the skull, but the only person listening
already agrees. When two mirrors face each other,
the image bounces at light speed, shrinks into pure calculation.

Amazing!—but outside your expertise. There’s a taste
of ruin in the air you’re convinced has waited centuries
for an articulation only you could orchestrate.
You continue to believe this into the last decade of your life.

Like a machinist who has come to terms with his outdatedness,
you recline staring upwards. Only the naïve call it the firmament.
All you can offer anyone suffering in the world is a sentence,
which is more often than not not enough.

Published on April 1, 2016