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A sign of your times, a rose-happy glow
enameled on dawn’s fingertips, a smiling
hardhat Phoebus harnessing wild geldings
to a mythic time-oiled chariot for another
day’s work. You don’t think the sun just
hangs around? Illumination rolls in place
for your enlightenment. Spirits assess
your purpose on the planet. No abyss
with you falling falling hurtling big,
and yet you’re loath to enter atmospheres
of the day. You and oblong room cuddle
in swirled string-thin beams swaying like
genetic tinsel draping lofting evergreens.
At tables in your room of living, huffing
scalding coffee perked, their coffee cups
clinking in your room of life, a charmed
crew, and saucers with tendril and fleur.
Square napkins mere, sop spills that are just
gonna happen in your room of life in your
life eternal as it courtly bops you thriving
to extravagant nows, some infused by
murderous urges briefly just. The best
become expansive. In a spray of silvered
light, a butterfly boasting so tender beauty,
we forgive its disaffirmation of the cocoon.
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Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.
Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.