Facts of Life

Time goes by faster than you
can imagine. It’s fast, man.
Faster than you can get your mind around.
And that’s fast...spell it: F A S T.
Lord Jesus, time is fast, get it?
No more tripping out on it.
No more spreading black plum jam on it,
going off on illuminated tangents,
double-tangents, wigging out.
I want to give it a piece of my mind.
But it’s all good. I’ll give it a bad piece,
a faulty piece, and then I’ll wrap
my mind around it. It’s just prolonging
the wait for an undefinable thing to happen
for the first time, and the last time.
The Bronze Age gave way to the Iron Age,
which in turn gave way to the Coal Age,
the Oil Age, the Age of Vapor, of Carbon,
the Age of Shanghai, of Snow, of Stone, of Darkness,
and then the Age of the Terrible Flower of Light.
We lived in a landlocked city, amid the grain,
flat as a pancake, inscrutable as funnelcake,
and a statue of Samuel Clemens rose up taller
than a lamp post—the tallest lamp post ever made.
It represents society, where the buildings
are three-dimensional, and get light at different
angles, under the sun, for the sun also shines
on three dimensions. Trees were vast
but not congruent, beside the arsenal under
the city’s bronze auspices. A man was smoking
a cigar on a rock by the river near the docks—
Why? One might ask. He is cool as a cucumber.
In fact, that’s not a cigar at all: yes,
it’s a cucumber. It’s about six o’clock.
It’s one of the facts of life. Beauty
is not one of the facts of life.
It is not a fact. And it is not a part of life.
At least not the one we have come to know.
Geoffrey Nutter


Geoffrey Nutter

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