In the Heaven of Obscurity

In heaven, no one will be famous, not even for fifteen minutes

Sure it’s quiet
but it’s paradise none-the less.
Look around, there’s all this room
to stretch out, relax, watch a little
television.  There are no obstacles
here, as you can see, nothing
to overcome if you don’t want to.
No “public” clamoring for encore
No one pounding on your door shouting
“Five more minutes, Mr. Famous!”
Over there, on the table,
there’s whiskey and dates and rich
dark chocolate all for you.  Help yourself
right now if you want.  Or just sit,
take your glasses off and run
the bridge of your nose before laying back
your head on this soft pillow —
There’s all the time in the world now
for nothing to happen.  If you listen
closely, you can hear the faint singing
of gnats as you fall asleep.

Or if you’d rather, step outside
and walk around.  The view is wonderful —
miles and miles of wind and dry grass,
with a little sunlight and shadow to amuse you.
Go ahead! The walkway through the yard
was swept just yesterday.  And to the west
way back beyond the distant gove of maples,
way back right on the horizon, barely visible
in a blue haze, is a hilltop of sorts
where your only neighbor, a Buddhist Monk
spends his whole day whittling sticks into tiny
rabbits.   Who knows, maybe in a hundred years
you could journey there and introduce yourself.
But for now, no one even knows you’re alive.

Well, it’ll be getting dark soon,
and you’ll have the entire night to yourself
Of course, there’s plenty of beer
in the refrigerator, and nachos with chili peppers.
The moon will be beautiful, as always,
coming up over the silhouette of the distant
trees, just before the immense appearance
of the stars.  And, oh yes, I almost forgot,
there’s pencils in the drawer and paper
if you care to write something, a poem or whatever.
And finally, when you’re inside, keep the window
by the reading chair open.  In fall,
you’ll enjoy the tarnished air scented
with decaying leaves, and in winter, that branch
there sways so gently, you’ll want to cry.
In summer, try listening to the inaudible
tick of sunlight on the old wood
of the house, or the occasional late shower
in the afternoons. And, at night,
when it’s windy, there’s the weeds that bend
and rustle and do not whisper you name.

One comment on “In the Heaven of Obscurity

  1. […] to list my favorite poems.  If readers want to check Joe Salerno out, they must not miss “In the Heaven of Obscurity” […]


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