top of page

Vain invisible man


Vain invisible man,

Stepping out in the sun

As far from when you began

As when you’re sure to be done,


Your shadow in the city

Is looking wise and witty.


It’s true that only yesterday

You were yearning for the cloister,

But by the feel of today

The world is still your oyster;


And should you catch a woman's eye,

The moon's your pearl up in the sky.


Your plasma membranes are leaking,

Your DNA is falling apart,

Neurons no longer speaking

And mitochondria are losing heart.


By all accounts you ought to be

In chapter-something bankruptcy.


As Sir and Boss and Dear and Dad

You've settled out of solution—

I mean, the only one you ever had,

In worldwide revolution.


Your life can seem both rich and full

And like a too-long taffy-pull.


You'll never make a zillion bucks

Or have to book a flight to Sweden,

Or join the Red Wing slapping pucks

Or wed a starlet in some Eden,


And never will outgrow this part

Of sidekick to your crazy heart.


The love at home, the love you found,

And God knows how you haven't lost:

It's love that keeps you feeling sound

And just above the permafrost.


And anyway your cover's blown:

Your daughter's chiming on your phone.


The same old you.  The new old you.

It won't save much, your saving wit.

You should have dashed the cup, it's true,

And now you have to account for it:


Your forty-something years and this,

This something some call happiness.

bottom of page