(12 February 1923 - 3 September 2003 / New York City, New York)

Untitled Poem - I

Once, one of my students read a book we had.
She was doing a history assignment on
the decline and fall of the Roman Empire
and crying. When I asked her why
she said Because. All those people died.
I said that if you start to cry for the dead
You won’t have much time for anything else.
Besides, after all the city people were killed
or died off, because their cultures got too high,
the barbarians kept some peasants alive
for their food value. Some barbarian raped
some peasant woman who produced
a child who ultimately produced you
and me, so there is this family continuity,
so don’t cry, it’s obvious, look around!
This is the reason why we Americans
are a nation of peasants and barbarians,

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