Thomas Dorsett, two poems


What Did That Self-Help Guru Say?

“Simply subtract your age from 65

and that’s how many good years you have left.”

That makes mine fewer than minus three!

Once vim is reduced to a negative toddler,

is it O.K. to sit and forget half your French?

It is not. Instead, before I’m minus four,

I shall sing and descant upon love

in a language I as yet don’t understand.

Perhaps I’ll send him a postcard from Kandahar;

perhaps I’ll send him an elephant tusk

made out of marzipan

by a lovely, crazy German living in Irkutsk;

he apparently thinks old age is the time

to stare like a cow while a fly

navigates a bulbous nose. Should I rage?

No, rages are unseemly after minus three;

having outgrown my terrible minus twos

I’m ready for a raucous minus youth,

and if I find a tarantula in La Descubierta,

I promise I won’t send him a fanged memento mori

in a silver candy box, crawling on blue cheese.

"Don’t Take Jesters Into Outer Space”

----Wislawa Szymborska

One day they’ll be laughing on Enceladus.

Clowns on a tightrope from Deimos to Mars!