There are many lessons learned in life
But few come from tragedy—I know, I know
What makes you stronger and all that. Rot
You learn more from what makes you laugh
How much pleasure the tongue can bring and where it was placed
The sweet look on your lover’s face. Or how loud P FUNK
Could be on stage and off NOT JUST KNEEDEEP
The towers falling; a man shot in the back
All terrible, but: What can you do about that?
What can you make of a world so wedded to injustice?
How dare you name the oppressor and demand his head,
His badge, his ranch or those secret accounts in the Maldives?
It is not as if the struggle is useless, it is that it continues.
But joy, where is it? What does it look like, smell like—bergamot
Lemons, honey, roses, musk?
To find it, is to explore a path where the stumbles are many
The curses frequent, but the rewards
forthcoming in A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press)