Issue 116, Fall 1990
My sister and I don’t seem to get along too well anymore.
She always has to have everything new in her house. Cherished ideals
don’t suit her teal, rust and eggshell color scheme.
Of course, I was a buyer when she was still on the street
peddling the Communist youth weekly. I have a degree
in marketing. Her boyfriend thinks I’m old-fashioned.
Well, I guess I do have an old-fashioned mentality.
What kind of a mentality
causes men to commit suicide in their air-conditioned glass boxes?
It has been a life of adjustments. I adjusted to the postwar boom
though it broke up my family. Some took their honor to the mountains,
to live on wood and water. But the investment years
wrought havoc with the landscape. Everything is modular now, even the trees.
Under the dizzying parabolas of the railroad bridge, where the thud
of laundry mallets used to resound, the swiftly flowing
current is like green cream, like baize unfit for fulling.
So old are the ways,
for lunch one might select a large smelly radish.
In the streets, as always, there is a smell of frying fish
no one notices. The rain cannot make up its mind.
Other people like it other ways.
I need to interact with postal employees, civil servants, that sort of thing.
Just being asleep isn’t enough.