Occasional Verse

Occasional Verse 3: Reading Nietzsche Before Watching It’s a Wonderful Life

Posted in Occasional Verse on November 16th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

These spirits do not mix.

All it took was a 30 minute dose of Nietzsche

on the herd mentality, mobbing, 

and the perversion of the ubermench’s spirit, 

to make George Bailey’s wonderful life a Greek tragedy.

Prior to this encounter, I had seen the movie

over 15 times, usually during holidays,

and never failed to be touched.

But this was the first time I saw 

George’s family, friends, and townspeople

ply that combination

of guilt, shame, and sex 

(not to mention some angel dust pyrotechnics)

to level George Bailey, man of talent.

And on this viewing, surprise of surprises,

Mr. Potter turns out to be the only man

trying to save poor George,

even if it is

only out of self interest.

And all those gut-wrenching moments 

coming so close to escaping:

the board meeting,

the bank run,

the train station with Harry,

the call from Sam Wainwright,

(if that idiot can make it anyone can).

If only Ernie the cabbie

would just chloroform Georgie-boy.

Just so he could get out of his own way 

for a half an hour. 

The real dagger in the soul though is the end

when he’s wet, disheveled 

with tinsel matted on his head, 

looking out as an imbecile on all proceedings,

as he is made

to feel grateful for it all.

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Occasional Verse: Series Descriptor

Posted in Occasional Verse on October 19th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

Occasional Verse is an attempt to reimagine that genre of poetry around smaller events. Events that are still meaningful in a life without being the major threshold events that are the mainstay of occasional verse: birth, marriage, death…

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Occasional Verse 2: Driving the Wrong Way Down a One Way Street

Posted in Occasional Verse on September 21st, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

You entered the do not enter

and there is no way out but through.

You will learn that the usually effective

embarrassed/apologetic wave has its limits.

Even the church-going mother

in the hatchback

taking her children to school 

can be seen muttering

a few non-biblical epithets

under her breath.

Her stare is enough to wish for the end times.

You have screwed this up for everyone

and will have to keep screwing

because backing up is worse than continuing.

You can only manage your level of wrong here.

Driving the wrong way down a one way street is like

putting a roasted potato in your mouth

at a dinner party that is way too hot

but you can’t spit it out.

So take the honking,

take the shrugs,

take the fingers.

This is an exercise in humility.

It is spiritually cleansing.

Remember Elliot’s words

Nothing dies harder than

the desire to think well of self

and know that today,

if just for a little while,

you killed it.

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Occasional Verse 1: Arguing About Whether You are Arguing

Posted in Occasional Verse on August 24th, 2020 by buzzing wire – Be the first to comment

You are discussing a movie with your wife.

Talk has circled around various interpretations,

and now you find yourself debating, rather vigorously, 

whether you agree with each other. 

You maintain that with minor exceptions you do.

Your wife is quite certain that you don’t.

Don’t be surprised. 

For if there is an acorn through which 

to glimpse the forest of marriage, 

it must be the argument about whether you are arguing.

And so, here we have

in this discourse 

the inability of two to be one,

coupled with the relentless determination

that quite simply two equals one.

It’s a very real physical impossibility, 

a duality of states

as in superposition

not as one, not as two

but, for lack of a better term,

a one / not one.