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Rootless in Patagonia / (Clueless in Brooklyn)

by Frank Thomas Smith


For everyone who gets to be over eighty
certain questions arise unbidden.

They (the eighties) are dead statistically,

Life and health insurance aren't interested,

Credit cards keep their distance, preferring,

like Mephisto, rosy-cheekéd lads and lassies.

 

Mephisto shuffles center-stage

Ready his scythe to unerring swipe

At the unsuspected moment ripe.

 

But, you'll say, the old are dead to destiny due,

karma is something to be borne smilingly,

Including birth and death, pure and simply.

 

Yeah, your Rev, but you at least have roots

In Cairo, Mos-cow, Milwaukee or Mongolia.

(“There are no cows in Moscva” said Romanoff)

Patagonia cultivates no roots at all, even closing

Its clay to Greek Patagonic mythology.

 

Patagonia's Patagones are giants, pure and simply.

You'll find no roots in desert spines and cacti.

Patagonia is metaphor for the beginning-of-the-end,

Where all is sparse, unyielding, tough, half-dead, dying,

Seen-better-days, and years and decades and centuries.

 

The Brooklyn Bridge connects itself to Patagonia.

Autos fly headlong to Manhattania,

Skulking back at dusk to Brooklynania;

Tourists skip across at noon to B-nania,

Slouching back in gloom to M-tania.

.

“Who else is dumb enough with open eyes to walk

From the pot to the fucking frying pan – and back?”

Someone said, and many thought but never said:

Birth is death; death is birth (go figure).


Let them come to Patagonia,

Where birth is birth and death is death,

And ne'er the twain shall meet –

Except when June meets December:

 

Then birth is death and death is birth.


Mephisto shuffles center-stage

Ready his scythe to unerring swipe

At the unsuspected moment ripe,

At the Rootless and clueless of every type.



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