the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Fall 2008



John Marcus Powell

If a Boyfriend Comes in With New Pants

If a boyfriend comes in with new pants am I supposed to say "They're for a man 20 years younger?"
Somebody at work asks me to dinner. "No thanks, I don't like you, I have friends enough."
Essential honesty is a contract for disaster and not a civilized response.

But there are levels. It's a good idea to live half way up the building.
On the roof you get soaked in lies, down in the basement, parched with truth.

I got a phone call from a good friend, "That man is asking for your number."

My friend was talking of a thirty or so year old guy I'd conversed with at a party.
I pass on my number. Mr. thirty or so rings up, we go out and he brings out ideas
in the ancient part of me that are slick young and tough.

Two weeks into our relations he mentions,
"Eh that girl you met me with at the party.
I got her pregnant. Could you give me the necessary cash to call it off?"
If the girl consulted my doctor friend with a clinic near Central Park I said I would.

Twice they didn't appear outside the clinic though arrangements were specific
so brutally I stated, "We'll meet at three. I'll pick you up."
He'd given a false address. As for the girl, she didn't know him.
He'd gone abroad so we never met to sort it out.

I am on a list of fleeced fools called lovers. My friend who gave the party says
there were many and that should help Mr. thirty or so, makes no distinctions.
Both in Europe and America all ages
with their genders are treated to his pounce.

Is there something about his body makes him do it?
Information is processed just behind the forehead
We have grey matter and white matter
Grey matter by reputation enjoys sitting still and being.

White matter is what moves thoughts to other thoughts, and is the movement
of the intelligence along.

With too much white matter he could connect with connections all too quickly
there'd be no time for analysis or wish to develop analytical ability.

An abstraction such as affection would be misconstrued.

With a lie uncovered the deceiver and deceived live without shelter. Is there any
sign of mist that will cover all there is and soothe my eyes? The answer is not to
suck from a group of facts, called 'situations.' Realize similar facts in different
places mutate to definitions we don't own. This is known as 'wisdom' and if
you are old can be acquired at any age.



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