There are lives I don’t want to live

and there are people I don’t want to be.

He had a black beard with a bald head

and his belly

was distended.

Now, a principal

he used to write poetry.

“Oh—I have plenty of ways to be creative,” he said.

He talked about his little victories,

about getting published

in small literary magazines

20 years ago

in Southern California.

“I knew Allen Ginsberg, once. I didn’t approve of his latest love affair. That boy was too young.”

There was something empty in his eyes

as he sat

on his desk

in front of his class,

teaching gibberish, while bribing us with donuts.

He knew I didn’t like him very much

and consequently,

he didn’t like me.

I judge harshly,

and the world does the same to me.

My vision of a man

is a philosopher

who walks the golf course like he owns it

and doesn’t give interviews

or tell people how to write.

One day, a kid shows up

and asks him what he knows

and it’s like being in the presence of God.

I can see the President of the United States looking weak

on National TV.

My observation of him

confirms my opinion

that the very strong

don’t rise up.

They remain

near the foundation,

going farther down, still

into nothing

because that’s where

we’re all going.

The great man wants to return to that.

The weak man believes he is a strong tower,

and consequently,

he gets knocked down.


2 thoughts on “The Principal and the Poet

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