Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Rocks and Ditty Bops

"Sometimes I want to shoot irony
In the face," Sarah said around dawn
Yesterday after alternating
Nights when the baby slept but not her
With nights when the baby screamed us up
In that relentless unhappiness
Of no clear cause that infants love to share.
"That's good," I told her, "that's really good.
Can I use it?" Oh, the irony,

Poor faceless mug, like Death come for Scrooge
On the day he wins the lottery.
"Oh, well. This will be awkward," quoth Death.
Only modernists loved irony,
Really loved him, made him a member
Of the inscrutably cool kids' club,
One of the Brothers Minor, gave him
A sort of a personality,
Almost, but not quite, a real boy's face,

But he keeps cropping up, the bastard,
Homicidal maniac impaled
On his own prop sword, as for instance
Friday, calendrical oddity,
Binary frippery, Eleven
Eleven Eleven, oh holy
Mother of invention, why the need
To imagine a Gregorian
Coincidence numerology?

There is nothing special in a date
Except we make it so. Our charming
Friends, no worse than Web or TV news,
Had told us to do something magic,
Had spent years orchestrating parties,
Writing grants to subsidize this day
Had discussed, philosophized, and craved
One numerical affirmation
In stoner chit-chat and yoga class.

And we smiled. What could we find special
In a random, arbitrary date?
We decamped from a motel at dawn
And, on a whim, took dim advantage
Of a dark and somber desert day
To use Arizona for Utah
And climb up Zion National Park
The just-slightly-less-traveled-by way.
In medias res we turned the Page.

Oh, and it was almost exactly
11:11 on the dot
When we pulled the car off on a crest
Beside the highway, overlooking
The great, steam-belching power-station
Churning from the Navajo Nation
(Viva Ozymandias!), and danced,
Drunk on cold, grey wind, celebrating
Our silly human power over years,

And talking about what we'd just seen
Pass on our insignificant drive,
Infant at last asleep in her seat,
The backlot of Monument Valley,
Peculiar geographic features,
An outcrop sign-posted "Baby Rocks,"
Ship-shaped rocks that were not the Ship Rock,
While listening to the Ditty Bops
Harmonize charmed loss. "The writing's done."

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