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A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
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A Failure of Imagination

How could we fall in love at such a time?

How could anyone? Across the continents

poured the caustic brew, cauldron of war

stirred by the devil’s hand, while we lovers

kissed and cuddled, all oblivious.

Ask Arnold first-name Matthew (looking back)

about those ignorant armies, and that ceaseless

lover’s cry, Let us be true to one another,

or Henley comma Don (and Hornsby, Bruce)

(four decades hence from then and now two back

and more, and more) about the ploughshares

beaten into swords, for that tired old man

that we elected king, and his (their) antidote “just one kiss,”

and both (or all) will say the same:

we always make love in the ashes of

our dreams: our cities, cultures, countries.

(As the chorus girls swirl, the line

     parts for a figure, debonair and white of face,

     who doffs his top hat, twirls his cane, and with

     his tails flyinging behind him, declaims:)

Hang on tight my darling, for the world

     explodes around us;

Make it right my darling, as we’re hurled

     in outer darkness;

               There’s not a thing that we can do

               And so I’ll say once more to you,

to hold on tight and not let go,

at least it should be quite a show,

as all goes up in one great blast.

So try to make the moment last,

and do not dwell upon the past,

for every breath may be your last,

     just hang on tight my darling!

Oh, how cynical I’ve grown:

     so may years,

     too many wars.

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