At the coffee shop they chatter as if in some foreign tongue, conversations overlaid one on another on another, until all I can strain are snippets of words, stray syllables. This is true everywhere I have visited, and it promises good coffee, for I have found that when I can easily eavesdrop on others at nearby tables, it is because the espresso maker has gone silent too long, there are few present, and I will regret the coffee shortly after drinking it.
The phone is again ringing,
and the odds say it is someone
who wants to extend my warranty
on the car I no longer own,
or to lower my credit card interest
though I never carry a balance,
or to help me fix my computer if I
just hand over control to them.
I won’t answer this time, almost
never do unless I know the caller
and want to speak to them,
robocalls, despised as they are
do provide a convenient excuse
not to speak to the long lost friend
who only needs a short term loan,
or the charity always wanting more.
Many want the government to act,
to ban or limit these calls, and I
agree, but be prepared to answer
when I call about the money you promised.
No one thinks it all that strange
that novels featuring James Bond
appeared well after Ian Fleming
again made acquaintance with the soil.
Nor are we shocked that Conan Doyle
has seemingly taken up pen again
and brought Holmes back to life,
although many find those efforts regrettable.
And yet when I take pen to paper
and cast line upon line of verse
upon the page, weaving intricate rhymes
and couplets of fine iambic pentameter,
I am called a fool or a charlatan for claiming
my work is merely a continuation of
Milton, Eliot and old William Butler Yeats
but homage is a tough game and I’m up to it,
and I toil away wondering just who
will strive to continue my tales when,
as draws ever closer to my chagrin,
I join the masters as further food for worms.
The path meandered more than he remembered
but he was the first to admit
his memory was never his strongest suit.
It didn’t help that he had consumed
two margaritas at lunch, and even he
didn’t believe the excuse that this was
a slow day for him, still sober at two in the afternoon.
But he wandered the path, for that
is what paths were there for he was certain.
He had no idea where he was going, and realized
that he would have no idea when he got there.
Still he had great faith in mathematics, that
was his training, his brilliance,such as it was,
and he knew that if he merely wandered aimlessly
without thinking, he would eventually cross
his own path, bump into his former self
and they, together, could devise a plan
to find their way precisely they were intended to be.
He would be the first to admit
that he hated most things avant-garde
particularly when it applied
to either art or music.
It was simply a matter of being
in the moment, and he knew
you could not be ahead of time
for there was only the moment
in which you were in.
It’s a question of faith.
You have to have some
even if you doubt it, in fact
your doubt is proof you have faith
if only in doubt, for you know
you cannot prove doubt,
you just cling to it
as a matter of faith.
Your faith need not be religious
though much of faith is,
it can be philosophical
or whimsical if you prefer.
It can be most anything unless
you are certain of everything
in which case you are immortal,
on death’s doorstep
or simply a fool.
ON A SIDE NOTE, TWO OF MY POEMS WERE JUST PUBLISHED AT GRAND LITTLE THINGS. YOU CAN FIND THEM HERE: https://grand-little-things.com/2020/07/21/two-poems-by-louis-faber/
It is simply a matter
Of putting one foot
In front of the other
It all follows from that.
But which foot goes first,
He asked, I’d hate
To get off on the wrong one?
If you will mark your gate
what word will you use,
what for the door, what
for the window?
The gate knows quite well
what it is, as to door and window
and need no marking.
Even the fool knows
through each you
may enter the house,
but even the wise man
cannot tell you
how the house may enter you.
A reflection on case 46 of the Iron Flute Koans
We are, he is convinced,
devolving into verbal neanderthals,
losing are ability to recognize
the linguistic tools that once
set us apart from other species,
or at least so we assured ourselves.
She knows that what truly sets us
apart from other species is the arcane
skill we have at being able
to convince ourselves that
delusion, firmly held, is fact.
Still, she cannot disagree with him,
simplicity is a too close cousin
to inanity, and nuance is the first
relative to be cast out. And so
with ever fewer words, we seem
to have ever more to say,
and speaking endlessly, say ever less.