The Pathetic Fallacy

By | 1 July 1998

A cautionary mister,
the thaumaturge poked holes in my trope.
I said what are you doing that for.
His theorem wasn’t too complicated,

just complicated enough. In brief,
this was it.The governor should peel
no more shadow apples, and about teatime
it was as if the lemon of Descartes
had risen to full prominence on the opulent skyline.

There were children in drawers, and others trying to shovel them out.
In a word, shopping had never been so tenuous,

but it seems we had let the cat out of the bag, in spurts.
Often, from that balcony
I’d interrogate the jutting profile of night
for what few psalms or coins it might
in other circumstances have been tempted to shower down
on the feeble heathen oppressor, and my wife.

Always you get the same bedizened answer back.
It was like something else, or it wasn’t,
and if it wasn’t going to be as much, why,
it might as well be less, for all anyone’d care.
And the ditches brought it home dramatically
to the horizon, socked the airport in.

We, we are only mad clouds,
a dauphin’s reach from civilisation,
with its perfumed citadels, its quotas.What did that
mean you were going to do to me?
Why, in another land and time we’d be situated, separate
from each other and the ooze of life. But here, within
the palisade of brambles it only comes often enough to what
can be sloughed off quickly, with the least amount of fuss.
For the ebony cage claims its constituents

as all were going away, thankful the affair had ended.

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