Thursday, June 4, 2009

the more a man has


For what I am about to say there is no proof,
though I hold them close to me, just like the quoof
Muldoon has celebrated as a means to coddle
the body when it is alone—hot-water bottle.

A man wants more than what he has, and if he’s got
a lot he wants more that that, for man has not
been programmed to declare, “No more! I have enough!’
perpetually accumulating lots of stuff
that never fills his needs because he’s always trying
to get some of what he doesn’t need. He’s lying
if he maintains he’s satisfied with all that’s he’s
accumulated. Getting more is a disease
that can’t be cured, and only ends when he has died,
and left his heirs his treasures that they will deride
once they have buried one that he too long had taken
for granted: his dead body, corpse no longer shaken
or stirred by the possessions that he had acquired,
especially his written words no one admired,
unless they had been signed and written on a check
facilitating salvage of the rotten wreck
which was the vessel that contained him while he sailed
and looked for more when he with less might have prevailed.

Inspired by a verse of Paul Muldoon’s poem “The More a Man Has the More a Man Wants”:

The more a man has the more a man wants,
the same I don’t think true.
For I never met a man with one black eye
who ever wanted two.
In the Las Vegas Lounge and Cabaret
the resident group—
pot bellies, Aran knits—
have you eating out of their hands.
Never throw a brick at a drowning man
when you’re near to a grocer’s store.
Just throw him a cake of Sunlight soap,
let him wash himself ashore.
You will act the galoot, and gallivant,
and call for another encore.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 6/3/09

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