Sonnet: The Altered States of "Man" Ahead
by John Kendall Hawkins
Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she's in a play
She is anyway
- The Beatles, Magical Mystery Tour, "Strawberry Fields" (1967)
One of the dirtiest things in the known
universe is the human body: heard --
two eggs talking, The Andromeda Strain,
a crystalline microbe from space -- sur L'absurde! --
neither alive nor dead, wipes out a town,
like that! and suddenly we've got new eyes
on the mind-body problem, gape dumbfound,
almost nuke it, but learn a surprise!
The human body's besieged all the time
by virile micro monsters, wet and wild,
like the girl in Cool Hand Luke, t*ts a crime,
they get you woe! you're golly gomer pyled.
The human future may be bleak or grand
or a replay ouch! of Custer's last stand.
(Article changed on Jun 15, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT)