Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dead Ducks

Some statements elevate a man.

For instance, Kung Fu, circa years ago, 

prescribed that rules must play like music --

and the notes on Yeshua watch him urge

(in a throw-off line) to be like babes.

William Tecumseh Sherman,

man to fight all war, pronounced that war is all hell.

And there's Qoheleth's 'all turn to dust again',

and then, and then, there's Nietzsche,

or S. Freud, or even Groucho Marx.

J.P. Sartre, in fictional despair,

saw the omens present, the encroachment

on the eve of World War Two

of the throb -- if you heed -- that causes the heart

to burst its dam, to flood it all.

Some prophet, just to be one up,

to get the last word in, from his webcast shouts

Give me a match to strike and I'll fire the world

and the crowds somewhere, with butane near the stage,

flare-up the hall, bring the curtain down.



  1. This poem is on a long long leash and yet it all reels back in. I like the wide array of sources, the "throw-off" line, the burst dam in the middle of the fire and firing. And being reminded of Sartre's writing, it's so in contrast with his personal life (at least as Simone de Beauvoir told it).

  2. A remarkable piece of writing, everything from ducks to soup. Very enjoyable...

  3. Kathy,

    You're very thoughtful and kind!

    At some point Sartre was a hero, then not; a man of courage, then not.

    As dense as his ideas get, his prose (even in translations that accommodate me) shines when he fictionalizes and goes close -- his detail work.

    Late 30s Europe frightens me since it emblematizes an 'end'. I fear 'end'.


  4. Berowne,

    Once again, it's very good to be acknowledged by you, sir.


  5. Great write, TF...and cleverly wrapped with the last stanza and a one-up crazy prophet...

  6. Tess,

    Thanks, gal! Crazy are the times in time for the such a prophet of crazies.

    Truly (fool)