By Michael Blumenthal
“Hide your God, for as He is your strength, in that
He is your greatest secret, He is your weakness as
soon as others know him.”
Paul Valery, The Art of Poetry
I like working at a university where
there’s a building called Mineral Industries
and another called Pharmaceutical Studies.
It assures me there won’t be too much poetry
around, that I can wake and say to my beloved,
“Hey, let’s go check out some coal” instead of
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
It assures me I won’t have my heart battered
by too much sentiment, that I’ll be able
To live in peace with my private gods,
with only a few miners and pharmacists
to disturb me. Don’t get me wrong:
I like poetry well enough, I just want to
keep it a private matter. Yesterday I went
to the drugstore, then visited a mine.
There was something poetic about it all.
Today, no one harassing me with a sonnet
of their own, I may write one myself,
Fourteen lines rhyming abab, and let the
last two lines go wherever life takes them.
Who knows? Maybe my poem will end
With the words bauxite, or gneiss. But
if not, what the hell? — Aspirin will do.
Copyright © 2015 by Michael Blumenthal.