by Michael P. McParland
A conspiracy of kindness, hogging
The marginalia that has, until
Now, been left on the ground for mean mouths'
Obstreperously vile inhalations.
If it cannot be loved or fought beside,
It whispers suspiciously my first name.
Young slouchers of deepest isolation,
Hear your elder when he says without bile,
That while you're but a cent in this world-for-sale,
Someone to slouch with can sweeten the deals.
The suspicion sneaks in that I may have
Misremembered most major life events,
Which leads me to believe that I may be
Misunderstanding most of what is now
Happening around me. Which matters more,
Common interests or common values,
I ask a hapless student in hopes of
Pulling back the curtain on this new love.
We have something that feels so much deeper:
Agrarian family tragedy.
I'm breeding a race of heroic minds
To tend the Garden of Earthly Delights.
If you choose not to believe in races,
Call them something else: A name, by any
Other name, is still a name, and every
Thing is something and is either a big
Or small part of something else, or is not.
As we must accordingly split the seams
And slice through the chaff in order to suck
Up all the juices which drip from God's tongue!
Don't you see these words are the bricks that form
A lighthouse? A bright light for you to see
And stop yourself from crashing headlong
Into the rocks, which are known as common
Mistakes, stupid decisions, conclusions
Most asinine, and even the big risks
You feel you must take to make all of this
Matter with a gravitas reserved for
The edgelords of experience, kittens
Convinced that a ball of string is on point.
Kittens, first you learn to scratch, and later
Comes the need to purr. To purr is to just
Give up any pretension of toughness
In the name of sacrifice, of service.
How much I love taking her so slowly,
Until her convulsions start to sharpen,
And I blow my load onto her tummy.
Too much info, I guarantee, and yet
I share it gleefully: Someone like this
Doesn't happen to guys like me. Unless...
Cursed be the white men, infiltrating
Innocent societies and negging
Entire fragments of the social crystal.
Why is it that an American finds
Everything about foreign goings-on
So quaint? Americans are the poets,
And the world is their muse. We can look down
On everyone else, because everyone
Else didn't get it right the first time,
The way we did. The mirror is the muse.
She is everything at once, developed
So very well in all the right places,
Yet a little rough around the edges.
Her borders are secure, but yonder looms
A menace, hell-bent on possessing her.
Fertile and bursting with nature's blessings,
Her forests grow wild, and in them forage
Naive creatures in need of her shelter.
Both modern as a robot's new watch
And river stone simple: She is Taiwan.
My ears went blind and my eyes done gone deaf.
I'm tired of the outside world, yet she's there,
Waiting to fold my shirts in normal silence.
When should I tell her my shameful secret?
The first half of my poem is nearly done:
At some point I will unpack the anguish
Forever, and never shall she ever
Need to know the kind of man I really
Am. Instead, I will become the kind of
Man she needs to have to help her prosper.
God must laugh when springtime comes, watching men
Watching girls in short skirts and forgetting
Momentarily about wives and kids,
Promises made and agreements hammered
Out after hours and days and years of work.
The heroic, life-defining struggle
Man undergoes to build a family
Is wiped from his mind in a hot instant,
When his proud ego is beaten senseless
By a pair of young, strong, out-of-reach legs!
But you have undertaken something real,
With a new real person who is hoping
For you to come through, to be the person
She can care for and who cares about her.
True, she could be anyone, as could you,
And surely there is someone else out there
Better suited to your particular
Nature, but this is the one you knew you
Liked the moment you met her, and the one
You chose to get: No refunds, no returns!