Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Education

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Education

Article excerpt

In this drab, squat

now condemned building,

we learned the Emperors,

Mercury to Pluto, square roots,

sodium chloride, aqua frijo,

the silly fibula and tibia...

and we promptly forgot it all.

What we remember

we're still learning.

Owl professors who puff up their down

once had no feathers at all

and nursed their soft pink brains

in some fool of a poet's knapsack.

We've seen pictures,

heard the stories, scratched through

their footnotes with our teeth.

syllogisms

The law is reason unaffected by desire.

-Aristotle

Ain't dat silly jism splatrin down

da whole damn town.

-old blues man

All men are Socrates.

Aristotle is a man.

Aristotle is Socrates.

Socrates is mortal.

All men are Socrates.

We're fucking alive!

Socrates eats Aristotle.

Aristotle is Socrates.

Socrates eats himself when Aristotle is hungry.

Everything is something else.

Ball bearings are something.

Ball bearings are ball bearings

only when they are figs.

This could go on forever.

Does forever include before forever?

If never is beyond forever,

this never happened.

This covers a lot of territory.

The territory is a ball bearing.

Everything is something else.

Socrates is a fig.

So is a vulture.

Thus we gnaw

the bones of Aristotle clean.

Add one cracked pomegranate

to the batter and butterflies swarm

from the oven. We faint with pleasure,

fan ourselves with vulture wings,

fondle each other's throats.

Socrates and Aristotle,

figs stuffed

with soft ball bearings.

Papa is hungry

He will die

You gotpokechop

You got pie

Share with Papa.

-old blues song

Ain't much left

of this book, he said,

blowing off dust and rat pellets,

after all them silverfish

and roaches... et clean through

the pages. Smart bugs now.

I ought read it again

holes and all. …

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