Thursday, November 10, 2022


 Too Much To Know

There are only so many things one person can know

at any one moment. No one has an infinite capacity

For photographic memory, at least not very many 

of us. I worry I wasted near 50 years 

Of neural space on fictional names

strategies for winning silly games

And other complex schemes contrived to keep me sane

Useless facts and listless lyrics

to songs I don't even like 

Phone numbers and addresses 

to places and people I’d rather forget 

I still know baseball stats

of middling American League

infielders (Jerry Dybzinski!) from the eighties 

I know combinations to lockers

Reeking of caged sweat and humiliation

I’d like a reset

    I'd like to forget 

        the order of all numbers

Become a dry sponge

poised above a chalice of holy water 

                a cleansing scrub, wipe away most everything 

The word for sleeplessness, for instance

so I can finally sleep

The various synonyms for depression

so I can say everything is just dark

So I can make 

it less of a blue obsession

My default facial expressions

when you’re searching for words

to describe your own pain 

Forget my name

    and who I’m supposed to be

Forget what it felt like to actually become

    what I thought I was supposed to be

Fall in Love!

    Rafael Belliard!

Give away your heart!
    Onix Concepcion!

Don’t let it go!
    Julio Franco!

Keep the mistakes and failings, though

I need to remember those.

Who wants an eternal recurrence

of embarrassing incompetence?

So clear cut the dead trees

Winnow the chaff

Strain this soup of sediment (yeah yeah yeah)

Just give me the broth, distilled to truth,

While you slurp the meat and carrots 

Save me the crust

And you can have the bread 

Cut your wood and take what you like

I’ll sweep up the dust 

I just need enough bandwidth 

for the elemental knowledges

Give me a few hundred words

that’s all I’d need 

The old and simple ones,

 like old and simple

like hard and soft

light and dark

clear and opaque

either and or 

Just enough to be able to make 

Sense of this flat gray stone I’m about 

To sidearm skip across the silvery shallows of Chagrin River

Into the dark shadows of the mud 

On the opposite shore 

Give me a vocabulary that can handle 

the sound 

of its dull disappearing thud 


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