Sunday, April 20, 2014


was here with me
watching the Pacquiao/Bradley fight
while I was fooling around
with words on the Mac
when my old girlfriend's email
landed in my in-box.
I read it.
And read it again.
"C'mere," I said,
"I want ya ta read this."
She pulled herself away
from the blood letting
and into another ring.
She read it.
And read it again.
"I don't know," she said,
"nobody knows anybody."
I smiled.
"That's what Roth said;
wait here, lemme read it ta ya."
I got up and got "American Pastoral"
and sat in my desk chair. She
was sitting underneath me,
her head swiveling
to the other fight
"Listen to this:
“You fight your superficiality, your shallowness, so as to try to come at people without unreal expectations, without an overload of bias or hope or arrogance, as untanklike as you can be, sans cannon and machine guns and steel plating half a foot thick; you come at them unmenacingly on your own ten toes instead of tearing up the turf with your caterpillar treads, take them on with an open mind, as equals, man to man, as we used to say, and yet you never fail to get them wrong. You might as well have the brain of a tank. You get them wrong before you meet them, while you're anticipating meeting them; you get them wrong while you're with them; and then you go home to tell somebody else about the meeting and you get them all wrong again. Since the same generally goes for them with you, the whole thing is really a dazzling illusion. ... The fact remains that getting people right is not what living is all about anyway. It's getting them wrong that is living, getting them wrong and wrong and wrong and then, on careful reconsideration, getting them wrong again. That's how we know we're alive: we're wrong. Maybe the best thing would be to forget being right or wrong about people and just go along for the ride. But if you can do that -- well, lucky you.”
"I like it when you read to me, baby.
Let's get under those flannel sheets
and watch the rest of this in bed.
At least tonight we don't haveta fight--
we'll get it as right as we can."

maybe in a week, a month, a year
--she'll dislike me, too. Maybe
even hate me?
And maybe,
if I'm lucky,
I'll be
long gone
by then?


Norman Savage
Greenwich Village, 2014

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