David Lehman

Here Goes 


Today we're alone with the phone.

"I believe we need all the escapism

we can get and even that won't be enough,"

John Ashbery said and he's right isn't he

say I listening to Dick Haymes

sing "There's a Small Hotel" on XM-Satellite Radio,

my preferred form of escapism.

Then hours go by in the space of five minutes

and you realize you've forgotten where

you're coming from and where you're going to

and everyone else in the room is younger

then we are. Once in a while someone

comes along and makes everyone feel happy

and I can respect that, said the man

on the mission to reform a half-dozen corrupt

institutions. But charisma is a mixed blessing

And to feel blessed is to be wounded

in the French manner. Thus incoherence results.

And this is what they whom we fear

despise us for. They think we never grew up.

And we go on proving them right.

As for me, I'd rather ignore the whole show

and listen with headphones to the new song,

an old song that Sinatra peerlessly does,

"Here Goes." Get the rice out, the trip to Paradise out.

Here goes someone in love.


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