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JEFF KLOOGER

The New World

And what would you have me do?
The lessons – chewed over,
swallowed, digested, absorbed,
– weigh heavily on me, gather
at my midriff, slow me up
and wear me down
to the paper-thin, almost translucent
bones of my skull. Look!
You can almost see right through
to where I’m thinking of something
unimaginable, or imagining
the unthinkable.
                                 I have grown old
without growing, as the world itself
has grown – not smaller (McLuhan
was wrong) but more dense, like a dying star
clinging to its wayward elements, clutching
the self’s tattered remnants to its breast.
In this, our second childhood, we hope
for no remission, wander
slack-jawed and starry-eyed
through museums of our absurd and bloody evolution,
stealing away with history like shoplifters
stealing out of Madame Tussaud’s.
"Our lives won’t be the same again," we sigh,
"and never any different."