Friday, October 19, 2012

Stanzas for Practice


The radio plays GaGa’s “Bad Romance”
As I sit in the Stopped Clock watching television
And daydream of writing enduring Literature
On the spiffy laptop, in the scuffed notebook,
As evening slowly lapses into night
And a gibbous moon rises over Arlington.

I pinch myself. I’m living in Arlington!
Each morning thrills the heart--a new romance!--
And gratitude fills the sleepy soul each night.
Undistracted by internet or by television,
I write, recumbent with an old notebook,
Hoping to make Immortal Literature.

My love, your eyes are full of Literature!
Come with me, walk the streets of Arlington!
You can write songs in your spiral-bound notebook,
Recording each detail of our blithe romance!
It’s not like anything you’d see on television
Which gets more vile with every passing night.

Let’s wake up in the middle of the night,
Drink black coffee, work on our Literature.
Let’s prophesy, haruspicate, tell our vision
To the silent trees of sleepy Arlington—
Let’s read Dante in the language of Romance
And copy Italian sonnets into our notebook.

I need to buy a five-by-seven notebook;
I used the last page of my old one last night,
Writing another maudlin ode to Romance,
Offending the Muses with slipshod literature.
As starlight graces the skies of Arlington,
I read Ted Roethke, shun the television.

Tell me what to think, O television!
Reporters, scrawl your truth in a thick notebook!
O bloggers from Anaheim to Arlington,
Publish your urgencies fifteen times a night!
O makers of official literature,
Give me propaganda! Assassinate Romance!

Readers of romance, watchers of television,
Put Literature's secrets in a notebook
As an old man says good night in Arlington.