About as useful as a pitch-black hall of mirrors,
or an iWatch in eternity, with Siri saying “Sorry,
I missed that” to no nobody in particular,
all the personal data dormant, moot, mute—
mornings, back when the work was new,
with my coffee and the white page, and the whole day
ahead of me without distraction, I’d play
my go-to pastime imagining the old man I would be
four decades later in the same chair
at the same desk imagining his younger self
imagining his older.
…………………………………O my blind deaf dumb
phantasmagoria, was this your idea
of being funny? Was I your pastime?
What in the world have you done with me?
Alan Shapiro has published many poetry collections (including Reel to Reel, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Night of the Republic, finalist for both the National Book Award and the International Griffin Prize), 4 books of prose, including The Last Happy Occasion, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award, LA Times Book Prize, an award in literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, he is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His newest book is Against Translation.
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