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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/10/22

Sonnet (No, It's Not) on International Corruption Day

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Diogenes
Diogenes
(Image by John William Waterhouse)
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It's spring in Australia and the miracle of life

is at it again, don't ask me why, pearls before swine,

and I was listening to Devo in my head, "Whip It,"

and spring insists on its own viability, "Whip it good."

And I remember spring in New England, May's darling buds,

but it's Fall there now and the leaves are turning dying colors

and dropping dead presumably from natural excess

And I find a lot of my life now ricochets around in my head

me not sure whether it's memory, or Now, or fantasy that's real.

I've written it off as a product of old age

I'm put out to pasture and nobody young cares about me

When I desire to return to the Ancients for wisdom and pleasure

I've got to be careful that it doesn't lead to a higher dosage

Nobody gives a f*ck about me and my wattage

But they give even less a f*ck about Diogenes and his trolling lamp

Diogenes is a fave; I like that he lived out of a pithos; a lady's man.

I myself once slept in a Goodwill box, reading Nietzsche by flashlight.

Slept under a discarded wedding gown; close as the dames got to me.

Whip it. I miss those Devo days. Whip it good.

Outside the blue box Golden Arches ached, billions and billions served

and I thought of the Clown Christ of Capitalism who died for our sins

and double-arched myself with a finger, kissed an imaginary chicken nugget

in supplication

.

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day

It is autumn in America but spring in Oz

(it's somehow spring and autumn at the same time: quantum whip it!)

And I can smell the sweet unctuous attar egging me on like bee

The roses are outside my window looking in to see

And I in my decrepitude sit here one foot in the cosmic grave

whipping it, whipping it good. Don't look back. As if you could.

######

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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