One must live in the present tense,
observed Bette Davis, but I have
always lived in the present
tensely. Tell me
about it: two absent-minded sisters,
backward-peering and future-ogling,
took turns obscuring my vision,
and if managed a brief repose
I did it awkwardly:
my senses somehow took their pleasures
smoke and mirrorishly.
But you don’t have that problem, so
train your gaze with ferocious glee,
sway your body gently
to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band
heating up Lincoln Center Plaza
and, hearing the tuba’s boom,
I’ll try to do the same,
for I scribbled vainly all afternoon
and later will be lovely,
but so are these current presents
that make this, for now, the only concert—
trumpet, sky, fountain, dancing eyes.
Copyright © Persea Books 2010
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on behalf of Persea Books.