Friday, November 10, 2023

The Strip of Paper

Bad pennies, bad memories,
And the most annoying tunes,
There’s your eternal return,

Herr Nietzsche, Mr. Zeno,
An attribution error
About the disposition

Of the universe, grounded
In your own situations,
Where nuisances seem to turn

Up again and again just
Since they never went away,
Except from your perception.

The cosmos returns nothing,
And all will remains costly
But still indeterminate.

A white strip of paper tape,
Dirtier and dirtier,
Keeps showing up on the floor

In various locations
Where a gust of air blew it
When it avoided the broom,

Where a cat dragged it, playing
In lieu of murdering birds.
You’re too sore to pick it up,

You tell yourself, too lazy—
Further misattribution—
But you intend to toss it.

Then next time you look, it’s gone,
And next time it’s somewhere else,
And you think it has returned.

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