ELEGY FOR RICHARD NIXON

I am that man over there.
He is me without knowing it.
I stole this parable and now bees gather
and I'm going away and I'm almost out of sight.

The next time I saw myself
the phone rang, the wind brought lashing rain,
and all the countries I'd followed myself to
were empty, except for groups of bewildered children.
I herd them inside my head, they're just thoughts.

So where am I now?
On my hands and knees with the bees,
too self-conscious to worry about broken glass,
and anyway, it's his body, his blood, not mine.

Call me Richard, after the ex-President who died yesterday.
I sat next to a corpse, my arm around him,
hoping my example would help mutes talk.
I put the corpse in my car and drove to a park,
sat him on a park bench, and earnestly berated the birds.

I really was the ex-President who died.
I'm dead - you just think you see me,
but you're too busy making pious gestures.

Yes, I was President. Yes, this rathole
does not become me, but then I've become
too gracious to be bitter, I actually hear birds,
and your children have my blessing.

As I leave this little fire
I leave the music too,
and that's a vast silence.


Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke



SCENE IN THE STREET

Mind and Body approach each other.
Inside the shop Warhol and Wordsworth are discussing
something,
it's summer and the gramophone sounds stale.

Both can see into the shop.
Mind is interested in knowing what they are saying.
I don't know what Body thinks.

Warhol and Wordsworth come out of the shop.
"We can't do it that way, the scene must be shot in fog."
"Gee, you think so?"
"If the soul is shrouded, then it can look inwards,
and the inner sanctum of dream
has always compelled and disturbed me."

Mind is fascinated,
wants to enter the conversation,
doesn't hear the gramophone or see Body pass by.
I don't know what Body thinks.


Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke
MICHAEL FITZGERALD-CLARKE is an Australian poet, living in Canberra. As someone who is not that computer literate, he quietly marvels at the miracle of the Internet, and how it brings together world-wide communities of like-minded people. This is his first appearance in TAR.
The Adirondack Review