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ADELAIDE Independent Bimonthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Bimensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 




 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

PIECES OF A LIFE HISTORY
By Larry Smith 

 

 

 

 

 

SEMBLANCE OF ORDER AT HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY

Janet Yellin’s Talmud is a couplet to counter Pound:
With Usura hath no man a house of good stone
But without Usura hath no man no house no how.

By such irony the world reasserts order.
The coins jingle because God gave us the pockets,
Yet what a small music to lay claim to consonance!

Render unto this one and render unto that one--
Christ's indifference thuds down through the centuries,
And on the architectonics of economics, no comment at all.

Though how insistently mortals resist the divorce,
Insist their symmetries partake of bigger bread.
Prime rates, discount rates fugue-like frame the balance sheets.

Hartford's light's a semaphore through louvers at dusk.
Ink still wet on policies begs the questions,
Do equities harmonize? Do the spheres hum here?

Pythagoras assumed ever-lasting sound
While our prolix clauses dim fast in moonlight.
The deer go one way and the dachshunds another.

Yet some nostalgia for order outlives this undoing.
Moonsoil holds the Indian summer song;
We burrow in that warmth and play with geometry.

Heaven's plane arrests our eye, so does hell's--
Can fiscal conceits adventure either shrine,
Or form a third, a hierarchy limbo's very own?

Actuarial tables by any other name...
Shall I with sunup dare adopt new tact,
Engird all worlds, string the lyre from cloud to client?

Not when morning shows me fear in a globule of dew.
Proportion's but a chimera amid the indices:
Flee, you music, sleep deep in the fur of a warm bed.

The body gets up and goes to work like Christ preached tax law.
It does what it has to do, and doesn't dream.
Office order's moot. Areopagite, pass by!

A noontime sun bleaches the gray-brown bow ties.
Deductibles beat unsung time, unhallowed song,
And I walk the two ways of worlds that never touch.

 

 

 

 

 

PIECES OF A LIFE HISTORY

Finally, he saw the commonplace, that gods
ever punish wicked adolescence
by making its dreams come true.
But sleep now, the years are numb.

A bed in Bedlam, pretty pilgrims
succored at the teat of a squall,
highwaymen in the snow, rhomboid winds...
but sleep now, the celebrants are dead.

Exile and age formulate deserts and riddles
and riddles that rise in deserts just for him--
the answer, man, just for him.
But sleep now, wisdom is dust.

And it was the desert lady flew him home
but Thebes was just a Thebes like any other Thebes.
Finally his mother bore him down and she crushed him.
So sleep now, the women are defeated.

 

 

 

 

 

CHRIST

You'll never be more of anything
than what you are of love right now

What a lucky man this Jesus
to know life a meaning
and death but sweaty spasm
in mid afternoon

Bless Him
and the ass he rode in on

Pure music
No melody
Jesus is just like Schoenberg
In that respect

Dead so long and still fat

 

 

About the Author:

Larry Smith

Larry Smith’s poetry has appeared in Descant (Canada) and Elimae, among others. His novella, Patrick Fitzmike and Mike Fitzpatrick, was published in 2016 by Outpost 19. His stories have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Low Rent (nominated for a Pushcart Prize), Exquisite Corpse, The Collagist, Curbside Splendor, Sequestrum, PANK, among numerous others. His articles and essays have appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, Social Text, The Boston Phoenix, and others. Visit http://larrysmithfiction.com.

 

 




 




 

 

 

     
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