Pluto’s Despair, by Mac Gay
In my mind’s nostalgic eye, / like in the old cartoons, / I see the lingering cloud
Mac Gay’s quirky ruminations range from the minute and imminent, to the farthest fields outside his window, and the cosmos beyond. He’s inclined not to pull any punches, whether his sharp eye is trained on life’s big questions, its odd turns, or his own foibles:
Dear God, dear
please bless with book
and lofty A. E. Newman Prize
this sponge, this open pit, this
beggar’s palm of need. This farmer
farming dust with fusty seed.
— excerpt, “Cover Letter to Myself”
Luckily for us, his poems offer up for our reading pleasure his dreams and demons, his survivor’s sense of humor, and some philosophical nuggets along the way.
My big rule is don’t
pee on each other,
I tell the dogs as they
check out the pole.
It’d be my main sermon
for everyone if I
were a preacher.