Yesterday the children were dancing

(for AR)

       more recent still
     as if
       the smoke curling
          from the cigarette
              had not as yet
     hit the ceiling

     It doesn’t matter when,
         but when did you begin
             to steel yourself
                 against all genuine
                     first person feeling

     What truly sent you
        reeling, lad,
            do you remember ?
     What left you looking ever after
         lonely as a schoolboy had been left behind –
            not freed but rather harmed
                by all the vérité you’d find,
       & trying still so hard to please
                      so on stage, so on your knees

     Tell me just for fun, sweet aging child
          how innocence was beguiled

     left you with nothing
          but dreadful
             useless intelligence
     a dagger piercing 
         to the quick
              with eyes could
                   still spot every trick

     There are men
          whose sadness seems
               oddly without foundation –
     a deep and pointless
         emptiness –
              a race of  little Prousts
     destined to love none other
          than mother
               or grandmother

     At close range,
         most prove unlivable,
              these providers of elation.

     reduced to art
          for their own salvation

         the only proof
             they will accept
                  of their existence.


The title is taken from a play by Gratien Gelinas – translated from the French.



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