Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I think that I am suffering
From post-neurotic stress disorder
A random thought? an ordered world? or either other?Seated at the table with Oedipus and Isaac,
The conversation turned to parenting:
“I wish I’d kept a journal when I had a life.”
“I seized the lisping ethnarch by his yard of beard . . . ”
Another voice, less comic, said:
“Three robins are embroidering the borders with fat worms.”
How did I turn out so severe?
So Chinese, Chaucer, Krazy Kat, and Moses?
And can make nothing of it?
In fancy not in fact I killed my father
I figured when he ends, there I begin.
Like snowfall on the grown bamboo
I have no roots, just baggage.
No words for god, but talk’s religion, leading . . .
Leading? leading where?
I met a woman at a concert
Whose husband of twelve years
Left her for the sister of their best-friend-couple’s wife,
Who then dated her next-door neighbor,
Who went on a charity bicycle tour to Savannah
Where he joined a group called “The Twelve Tribes.”
He said she could marry the tribe with him
But she’d have to give up her dogs;
And two trees fell on her home last Sunday.
And the power is still out.
I think that with the best will in the world
We drive our long-time friends away,
Who may not go, but do not want to stay.