The Reluctant Situationist.
Sometimes he seems to believe I am fairly significant -
in a muted and reserved sort of a way ...
But then he has second thoughts -
stung by the tang of personal regret ...
Something about a lack of literary tightness -
and trust slips through the verbal net ...
And the poem sits in an ignored drawer -
hidden from the light of day ...
Snugged up tight with a lack of confidence -
that's what the situationist would shyly say.
Fact is, him and I go way back.
We wrote each other letters about poetry ...
and other stuff.
We seemed to have an unspoken understanding.
There was common ground there ...
mutual respect, nothing too demanding.
We thought we could strive for perfection -
got all wrapped up in a sort of
narcissistic literal reflection.
And neither of us would demur at all -
there was a distinct lack of genuflection.
Ended up reluctant -
in a checkmate style situation.
Sometimes, just now and again,
we would get a sort of glow on,
there would be radiance on the pages of the manuscript,
and we would see it,
could see it,
and we would know that was the one.
But he had a habit,
he liked to tinker with it,
strive for further improvement,
dissatisfied with the style or shape,
and then the glow we had would fade.
And we would sit in pathetic silence,
like spent casual lovers,
with nothing more to do or say.
He does not realize I have many reservations -
about his work, our work.
My honesty would give him palpitations,
cause us to have terminal conflagrations,
but he should be grateful
for our combined dissemination.
His originality and my fresh attitude -
his brutish phrases ...
my profound platitudes.
The polemic opinions,
that would find us,
argumentative and fired up,
operating on differing literary latitudes.
We are fine people, with plenty of time,
just distracted lately
by what goes on in other people's minds.
Maybe I'll send him my new poem,
like we used to do.
Perhaps he'll shed some light
on his quirky indifference.
And leave it as it is,
show some mild restraint
regarding his well intentioned interference.
And he will say he would not change a single syllable,
because it is perfect this time.
And when I look at myself in the mirror,
he will look back and tell me it is all mine.
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