The Despair That Knows It Is Despair

by Louis Gallo

contra Kierkegaard

The man who sings like velvet thinks
his euphony falls on the world
with the thud of bolts and braces.
This girl of lithe proportion—
oh, she can turn on a tip of flame—
clamped alone in icy shadows,
curses herself as monstrous.
Here the sullen wife and mother,
sleepless at a kitchen table,
thumps an oily, checkered cloth,
gazes at an old scratched spoon.

Life is practical and blithe, we hear.
Life weeds out its pensive drones.
You can’t get anything for nothing,
not even bones.
Word is out among the throng.
There is no personalized despair.
It is pervasive, like air.
So let laments begin anew,
then taper off, begin again.
We’ve had it with cheap merriment,
that old fat hen.