The General Decline as an Increase in Values


You had to go further than you thought.
The atmosphere, decidedly formal,
abbreviates disparities of shape
and color. Hatched shadows flare
and harden. Some would even say
they correspond. There is evidence
of design; feelings so easy to shed,
like clothes, they become fashionable.
You sense the urgency of flight,
disorder, a reassessment of surface
as a constant distancing of effect,
promiscuous in its common ordinary
delight. Though you are not given
to epicurean taste, you sense,
as well, the beauty of abandonment,
the white bodacious house, seaside,
composed almost entirely
of windows, controlled hysteria of sex,
where second thoughts invariably take precedent.
Our souls do not select their own
society. If anything, the spirit
is too restricted by form
to address the larger issue
of despair. The human heart
floats like a candle on the calm
collective waters of night.  Consider
the facile deliberations of dark
as a mere encroachment on the crisp
sustained brilliance of diurnal sweep,
a lesson in manners not easily
forgotten like the wilting dandelion
your professor wore in Psych 101.
Everyone knew he was a genius
who knew the Bible, each variant text,
and algae pudding from cover to cover,
to say nothing of arithmetic and music
systems. He was nothing, if not systematic.
His son read and listened to the classics.
He never said anything about his wife,
though marveling at what the male bee
would risk to have his way
with a female in flight
and always asked, “Was it worth it?”