Sunday, September 14, 2008

I am the boss of this poem

(collage & video by David Shapiro)

This is for folks who land on this blog looking for "boss poems" because search engines picked up my post, "I am the boss of this poem." I'm thinking of compiling an anthology of boss-poems, given the evident demand for one; meanwhile, here you go:

On being philosophical

My tendency is to be philosophical before
I even need to be philosophical, which is,
perhaps, the essence of the thing itself.

Taking a break from work, for example,
to worry about losing my job,
I ponder why one uses the figure

of a dog thrown a crumb from the table—
what dog relishes a crumb? No, Boss,
morsel is the better word (bone, gristle,

chunk, shred, hunk): dogs require
things to devour, being devout gulpers
who by nature leave behind essential drool.

You can’t fool a dog with your crumbs.
That’s the heart of it, the meat of it.
What you toss they’ll jaw up well.

This is muscular, nervy, an act
that contains and embodies its own
completion because dogs do

a great job of waiting, unlike Descartes
or me, needing no mind behind the mind.
Like Descartes, I keep deciding

that foreboding is worth something.
So I eat numberless vegetables to avoid
injury to fellow souls, in spite

of which I am not a virtuous man.
Dogs don’t converse while they eat.
We say grace, clink glasses, drink the wine.

Where there’s a will, evidently there’s ... a will.

(by Don Share; originally published in Jacket magazine, 2007)

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