The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
Henry David Thoreau.
I saw little of what had else been seen…
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
James Joyce’s namesake died, again,
and yet another funeral will be held
on the courthouse steps; the pub’s
to go to the high bidder; what remains
will have to be staked through the heart.
It had to happen. There he was,
cleaning up after Saint Patty Day.
Too lean, hair half tickling his ears.
Too eager by half, too, breaking
the news of the soon to be again-departed.
He’s three for three, shutting down
my faves, my darlings, my hangouts
that played my songs, and made me feel
like the Sixties weren’t buried
after all beneath nine-eleven rubble.
Really he’s only a hard luck waiter
willing to work for less than some
rats who jump ship shy of port.
But wherever, whenever he’s aboard
I shiver at his boots tamping down a grave.
* * *
Built for faring far at sea,
wheeling on a wingspan wider than
the height of a man, an albatross,
who had warned the ship away
from icebound land, was scrapping
for fish-bits, for its own survival
when superstition brought it down
on a deck of shrinking boards,
amid the water-water of ocean everywhere;
after they slung him around the hapless
neck of the one who done him in,
did he hear the panicked sailor talk
himself out of a clean and simple Death
into mating Death-in-life? And, you who sit
morose before the barricaded door, do you want
to dance at that wedding, much less take a wife.