Friday, August 5, 2011

Wisdom for Today

Smart Cookie
(After Wallace Stevens)
by Richard Schiffman

The fortune that you seek is in another cookie,
was my fortune. So I’ll be equally frank-- the wisdom
that you covet is in another poem. The life that you desire
is in a different universe. The cookie you are craving
is in another jar. The jar is buried somewhere in Tennessee.
Don’t even think of searching for it. If you found that jar,
everything would go kerflooey for a thousand miles around.
It is the jar of your fate in an alternate reality. Don’t even
think of living that life. Don’t even think of eating that cookie.
Be a smart cookie-- eat what’s on your plate, not in some jar
in Tennessee. That’s my wisdom for today, though I know
it’s not what you were looking for.


After the Opera
by Richard Schiffman

The curtain parts one last time
and the ones who killed
and were killed,
who loved inordinately,
who went berserk, were flayed alive,
descended to Hades,
raged, wept, schemed--
victims and victimizers
smile and nod and graciously bow.
So glad it’s finally over,
they stride off
suddenly a bit ridiculous
in their overwrought costumes.
And the crowd-- still dark,
like God beyond the footlights of the world--
rises to its feet
and roars like the sea.

Also, here's Richard Schiffman's Small.

Today's Poetry Friday round-up is at A Year of Literacy Coaching.


Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

I lovelovelove smart cookie. Very wise indeed. When the wish that you're wishing is in a parallel universe wishing for you - how could things possibly be? Thank you for sharing how kerflooey things can happen if one does not eat the cookie in one's plate. ;-) Nice!

Robyn Hood Black said...

These are delicious - thanks for sharing! Love the surprise of the sea at the end of the second poem....

Irene Latham said...

How clever is that first poem? Lots to think about there. Thanks so much for sharing!

M Pax said...

Both great poems. What a great talent Richard is. I love 'beyond the footlights of the world'.

Amy LV said...

Tabatha, thank you for introducing me to Richard. I needed these. A.