A bad poet visited me earlier this evening, and like a rhapsode, I have recorded his song.

“Fiscal Cliff at Sunset in Galveston”

Come you and I
To a place, where looking upon this cliff—

At that which would in its necessary counting we can’t
See, but which could determine the fate of important things
With which we never cared.

We know there are no cliffs
Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, where
Everything is flatter than the ignominy of all
Having drunkard fathers and ignorant
Ways of living.

The sunset over the bay
That you and I enjoyed each day
Falls on us equally as an aggregate percentage.
But good faith, now rendered ridiculous, is that which is
Worth taking.

For the common
Good, our stupid efforts need to be
Forgotten. Conversations, no matter how inane,
Lead to deep insights that inexorably lead to others
Laughing

At us. The sun sets with its beautiful
Spectrum of colors, and we sigh and say amen.
A flat world knows no effort
Of greatness or defeat. We find ourselves with good humor, in the midst of
A crisis, enduring.

Yet, you and I were immune
To this cliff—without inoculation. We were better
Than the issues beyond our control or understanding.
We took the cares and troubles with a
Blithe reliance on grace, with which besides
Ourselves we were concerned.

For ourselves, a change,
Without grandiose hope, has led us
To consider things beyond our
Capacity of knowing.

That last drink you served,
With its icy condensation on the glass, is melting in this twilight
In a way that is troubling.

You poured that drink,
And you said it was one for the road. However
Hungover, tomorrow shows that things like the care of
Dear ones, and the necessary work of the day need to be
Attended

To. But who is the one, at this hour, who needs to be
Driving?

—we are driving over the cliff.

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Articles by John Presnall

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