Could there be anything worse?
Linus plays well but it’s too slow.
The air, thick with smoke, stinks.
Nostalgia is philosophy without hope.
Christmas with cartoon characters
Is like a funeral with mannequins.
Looking back isn’t anything more
Than an admission of guilt.
Mos Def would know what to do.
If you add motherfucker to every hallelujah
The patrons cheer up. We miss the past
Because we’re not good enough, not for yesterday,
Never mind last week.
We’re like high school drop-outs
Returning for graduation, there to
Watch our friends take a giant step.
We’re a nation on the sidelines,
Gentiles at a bar mitzvah.
We haven’t done our homework;
We never study. We’re going through the motions,
Attending class but not arriving prepared.
We left our books in the locker. Sorry.
The losers have been getting prizes.
The experiment is over. Limos
At 6th grade graduation count for nothing.
The hundred dollar bill divided by one thousand
Doesn’t cut it.
Some are convinced we’re on a winning streak,
But we missed the start. Now we’re talking
With our lawyers about a second chance.
But the winner’s already been declared. We lost.
[David Lohrey was born on the Hudson River but grew up on the Mississippi in Memphis. He currently teaches in Tokyo. He has reviewed books for The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, has been a member of the Dramatists Guild in New York, and is currently writing a memoir of his years living on the Persian Gulf.]