Variations: Psalm 131


Sitting spectatorially in

sofa stands, i watch as two October wars

rage. Through glass eyes, glass screen

i patricianly observe, black box in hand to

mediate. The third, the visceral, in me:

which to settle upon? Both will

make history, both will be assessed,

tossed around analyzed up and down for

years to come. In the first conflict i at least

have a voice, but using it seems only

quietly gurgling: it drowns in ideology rivers and

policy rain converging in

halftrue stewy sea whose water is mostly

salt. My heart finds it

undrinkable, instead just floats upon it

recklessly abandoned like

an oar that used to steer someone else’s boat.

In the other i have

no say, no power, no

stake even. The outcome changes

nothing, no lives are trampled or

saved, no schools closed or

opened. And yet i am compelled,

entrapped; disabled by bomb blasts of

awe. It sucks me in smartly, tightly, like a

fat man’s belly near a pretty girl.

There is an elation here, an

involvement, a genuine

hope. I opt finally for

this innocence, this nowness, this

momentary onliness:

the crucial importance of baseball. i

smile, and remember what it was like

to play as a boy.

i couldn’t tell you

who won the debate, but i am

pretty sure it wasn’t

you or me.


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