A Multiplicity

 A Multiplicity


His image on a penny, staid, familiar,

a child’s portrait, his kinder-garden assignment;

There he is, half risen from seat, box above the stage,

smoke still rising from the revolver’s blast,

light around him, dark background figure in contrast;

You can almost hear the sound

as actors, theater-goers, the world, look up to see;

or pen raised, signing the proclamation,

or standing in the battlefield

speaking to the multitude.

Then this imaginary entranceway

like to a country fair:

if he pays his money, will they let him in?

A whole gallery of pictures:

No nudes

Most are bearded.

The state of the nation

The state of the state

One must always stand with uncertainty

as to perpetuity, as to one’s legacy,

sitting there in that hugely open cupola,

grasping the arms of this marble armchair

as if to prevent his dislodgement,,

like obliterated Zeus at the Temple of Olympia

or Akhenaten, noseless, faceless,

stripped to the alabaster,

all the waters rising, the tide, the rivers,

annihilating even the memory

of the why and the wherefore.