LEX

Well before there was
Aristotle, there was aa,
which comes as no surprise
to geologists who never
doubted the history
and creation of
this planet.

Well after the zebra
there was the zygote,
which a biologist
would tell you
is putting the cart
well before the horse.

The lexicographer will say
that he did not create
this disconnect, for he
or she is a mere recorder,
so you’d have to go
back the the source —
if you can find
an etymologist
to lead you there.

YANG YIN THERE

It’s the difference between anthracite and lignite
he said with his sort of all-knowing smirk.

Quite to the contrary, she snapped back,
it’s the difference between pahoehoe and aa.

He clearly wasn’t pleased, those examples are
like night and day and you’re in the dark.

Only you can’t begin to tell between makai
and mauka, but I love you despite it all.

And I you, so what if you couldn’t hope
to distinguish between a fastball and a knuckler.

You’re really going to hang a curveball like that?
Even a girl like me will take that one downtown.

He laughed, that’s why we are so good together
we agree on so very little most of the time.

She giggled, I can’t believe you said that,
although on that one, narrow point I must agree.

YEATS IF ONLY

Cheever was having a bad day,
that much was immediately obvious.
Perhaps it was the two martini’s in town
before lunch, but he says it only made him giddy.
We all know better and by late afternoon
his mood has soured completely, his emotions
have slipped back into turmoil.
He says a few cocktails will cure him,
or at least make him bearable.
He will soon consider AA again,
drinking dry the liquor cabinet in the consideration.
Elsewhere and in another time, Borges reminds us,
an Irish poet, held prisoner in the last days
of the Irish civil war, knows he will be executed
in the morning, and so slips out of the house
that serves as his prison, and into the water
icy, frigid, now hating the Barrow river.
He swims as best he can, promising
that if the river god allows him to live
he will present her with two swans.
He does live, he does place two swans
onto the river the following spring,
and he dreams one day of visiting Coole.

ISLAND FEVER

“It’s the difference between anthracite and lignite,”
he said with a sort of all-knowing smirk.

“Quite the contrary,” she snapped back
“It’s the difference between pahoehoe and aa.”

He clearly wasn’t pleased,” those examples are
like night and day, and you’re in the dark.”

“You can’t begin to tell between makai
and mauka, but I love you despite it all.”

“And I you, so what if you couldn’t hope
to distinguish between a fastball and a knuckler.”

“You’re really going to hang a curveball like that?
Even a girl like me will take that one downtown.”

He laughs, “that’s why we’re so good together
we agree on so very little most of the time.”

She giggles, “I can’t believe you said that
on that one narrow point I must agree.”