Napomo 17: April 13 - 18
by Gary Hardaway
April Rejects Your Contributions
is nature's way of saying
we really don't need
your semen anymore.
At some point, the piles of stone
became architecture. There were no architects
to claim the date. Such fine textured
differentiation of labor came later-
about the same time as the notion of attribution
and it's eventual legal expression
as intellectual property evolved
through the expanding matrix of language
and all that language can embrace.
We don't know when architecture came to be.
We don't know when literature came to be.
The power of taxonomy came after.
The naming of names continues,
as stupid and essential as it ever was.
April and the Rebellious Daughter
She's about two and half, hair done up
in dread locks, and capable of running free.
Her tall and slender father smiles and worries
as she runs across the decrepit tennis court
and slips under the net as if to escape
parental bonds. But, she always looks
back at him and laughs, knowing she
is free and loved, and always
protected from all the harm
a two and a half year old can picture.
Bones consolidate with age. The fleshy
bits of body follow by wrinkling and
spreading outward, appearing to expand.
My inseam measured a steady thirty inches
since 1967. Lately, my jeans are wearing out
from touching ground behind my heels.
Such fraying isn't fashion
but a squalid reminder
of sequential debility and collapse.
I need to search for twenty-nine inch inseams
and acknowledge what no one wants:
the inescapable gradations of demise.
April and the Cruelty of Personal Limitations
These fragments I have shored against my ruins.
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
I can't shore any fragments against my ruin.
The art of collage escapes me.
Perhaps it's the fragments I choose-
too weak and private. Perhaps the contours
of the frayed edges generate no sparks
between fragments. Perhaps I cut with scissors
instead of fingertips. Perhaps my inbred love
of holistic narrative fabric sabotages
any fragmentary strategy I might choose.
Being neither Eliot nor Dadaist, and not
the least bit surreal, I'll stick to whole cloth
and simple mindedness I know, perhaps too well.
April and Speculation
All time is unredeemable.
T.S Eliot, Burnt Norton
Because she had so much courage,
I might have had some, too, had
I chosen her, as I should have,
when I had the chance. She was
so beautiful. What might have been
is an abstraction. A world of speculation.
What might have been is what haunts.
Now, as I prepare for a quiet exit, stage left,
before the playwright has a chance to rearrange
the sequence of events, I know that she was beautiful.
What I also know is that I might have been something,
other than the sad recluse I am now.