Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Think I May Have Missed My True Calling

I think I may have
Missed my true calling
Though I’ll be darned
If I can think what
My true calling was
Supposed to be
Maybe I should have
Worked as a fisherman
On a lobster boat
Hauling in crates
Of lobster like the
Long liners who
Worked on the
Andrea Gail
I like boats
And I like
Rough seas
And I like the feel
Of ocean spray
In my face
Or I could have been
A charter boat captain
Hauling tourists
Down in the Florida Keys
Chasing after
And blue fish
And Marlin
Racing along with the dolphins
To see who can
Reach the finish line first
I would also like
To have been
A college professor of French
Explaining the finer points
Of French literature
To the eager minds
Of future generations
Of teachers
And used car salesmen
And I would be fond
Of wearing
Tweeds and sweaters
Scarves and gloves
And I would smoke a pipe
And cigarettes
And drink Irish whiskey
And I would regale my students
With stories of all the famous writers
That I have ever met
And I would go
To campus poetry readings
And offer my signature
At book signings
With my latest tome
Prominently displayed
In the college bookstore window
And I would be the toast
Of our little college town
Easily recognized from my
Many book jacket photos
Or perhaps I should have
Gone to law school
To Georgetown or
Harvard or
Where I would have
Hobnobbed with
Future titans of
And law
Or perhaps
I should have been
A bowery bum
Sleeping in the
Flop houses
Of skid row
And writing
Terse verse
That can only be
Understood by
Imbeciles and
And geniuses like me
Or perhaps I should
Have taken up
The paint brush
To be another
Jasper Johns
Franz Klein
Or my favorite
Jackson Pollock
Or perhaps
I should have been
A stand up comic
Like Jerry Seinfeld
Or Mort Sahl or
Lenny Bruce
Or perhaps
A Jazz musician
Like Louis Armstrong
Or Chet Baker
Or maybe not
Maybe I should
Have tried my hand
At acting
Like Richard Burton
Or Richard Dreyfuss
Or my favorite
Jeff Goldblum
Or perhaps I should have
Joined Che Guevara
In the Bolivian hills
Dodging the bullets
Of the federalistas
While Fidel safely
Smoked his cigars back
In Havana Cuba
Or maybe I should
Have been a bull fighter
Dressed in the costume of the
My swords poised
To deliver the
Coup de grace
To the valiant
And bleeding bull
Whose magnificent public death
Would serve
As an expiation
For all of humanity’s sins
Or perhaps
I should have been
A shop keeper
In Liverpool
Where some of my relatives
Hail from
Selling penny candy
To the runny nosed
Street urchins
Of the city
Who would rather
Eat twists of licorice
Than wear shoes
On their feet

Or maybe
I was always
Best suited
Just to be
The man that
I have actually become
A part time horse player
Petit bourgeois
Social worker clerk
Who dreams of
Winning the lottery
Without having to lose
Too much more of my

Philadelphia, 2011

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