Not An Option?
“Complaining is not an option,” proclaims the Ph.D.
Whose self-help books sell internationally
Though not as well as before: now he has been convicted
Of sexual impropriety and has been made to pay a quite steep fine.
Before that, adorers tended to overlook his peccadilloes. They loved
How he paced back and forth on the podium, to be videoed
Looking like a prophet come from a week in the desert,
Fiery but now bathed and put into light khaki slacks
And a pinkish sweater over a long-sleeved shirt. He educated
His gleeful audience of not-poor people as to what to do.
But now some husbands wonder, their wives having gotten them there,
About the naughty doctor who is human after all and makes mistakes.
Some of the wives question too. Yet maybe a message has been heard
From paying attention (though no longer any money)
To the guru with feet of clay who has been through a lot himself
And perhaps when at home alone, now that his spouse has vamoosed,
Complains although he said nobody should.
Feeling Out Of Sorts
I am glad I looked it up. Now I know: “sorts”
Is a term from typesetting, referring to a letter
Or character in a particular font. Let us say
If on a Monday morning around ten or eleven
A typesetter reaches for an “L” and cannot find one,
Or an ampersand is nowhere to be found,
He might want to chuck it all for now, to step
Around the corner to Max’s Tavern for an India pale ale
And stay for another and maybe for one more.
Today I cannot put my hands on the sorts
Which make up “patience.” The sorts for “trust”
Are no longer in sight. “Hope,” whose sorts
I recall used to be in their cases, is absent now.
Though gone are the days of the letterpress
When, according to Wikipedia, “individual sorts
Were picked from a type case with the right hand
And set into a composing stick
Held in the left hand from left to right,
And as viewed by the setter upside down,”
This morning, until the sun comes out –
Literally or figuratively –
I am sorely tempted to go back to bed
Because I feel like sulking,
Being so much “out of sorts,”
And I see that I need to stop right now
Composing sentences to be set in type and printed
For others to read.
What He Is Asking For
A dear friend with whom
I talk about such things
Urges me to strive for
Authenticity. He is quite
Bright, but in this I believe
He is not using his good brain.
Wants me to be authentic?
Does he not know what Hell
I imagine would be let loose were I
To open wide the tight bag
Which is my life? Not a sight
I would want to see, myself.
Better to continue on my accustomed way
Because the unknown is for explorers
And I am a spectator. Yes, I have considered
I may be cheating myself and friends
To give us only this.
But I am being authentic when I do not.