Misanthropy As a Path to Wellness/ poem by Timothy Brennan
He said, I don't usually do this kind of thinking
about otherness, or what is often offered as
and conflated with, clarity of perception.
We like to be liked and will take, most of the time,
the shortest route between home and work and back again,
thorns in the side and all. Though lately I've heard
about triangles forgetting their hypotenuse,
which seems unlikely even during the most
extreme changes in atmospheric pressure.
Those buildings do seem dangerously close to falling.
With these intense winds, a vast desert awaits
the curiosity we've successfully held in abeyance
since medieval monks delivered books
in ox-carts with oaken wheels
and we plan to continue thus.
Mountains are grayed-in this morning.
seem larger and more alive to the eye
which never misses a chance to be fooled.
All of which brews an existential mood in the town
and vexes the financial crowd
whose calls are too upbeat so early in the day,
whose connectivity yields and projections
start a kind of underground rumbling
that upsets the growing throng of children
just beginning to notice the earth turning once again
from spring towards summer.
Timothy Brennan is a poet, visual artist and woodworker. He has lived and worked in Providence, San Francisco, Brooklyn, and now New Paltz, where he has been renovating his old house for over thirty years, with no end in sight.
––I am a longtime reader of poetry but didn't begin writing until I took a French class in my fifties. Weekly writing assignments provoked a new engagement with words, grammar and syntax construction. Memories and observations translated between two languages eventually led to works of imagination (in one).