Prufrock in 2014
I believe I know what he meant
when he spoke of measuring life
in coffee spoons. For the modern insomniac
at three in the morning,
the currency of the hour is entertainment
and all the wayward shapes it might assume. Maybe
I will wander blithely into the heated political discussions of friends
whose faces I haven’t seen in years, and perhaps
I will regret it immediately, as usual. I will repent, sort of,
then pay recompense to invisible powers, eventually. I may suffer
a horrible mixture of adorable cat videos, celebrity news,
urban legends and pictures of beautiful, happy friends
doing beautiful, happy things. Meanwhile,
in this house, we try to keep the five cats free from fleas.
In the rooms, they come and go,
and they hack up hairballs on my books. Sometimes,
words slip away from the realm of diplomacy,
and the refrain echoes Prufrock’s:
That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all!
Except when I did. So a voice goes, I grow old …
I grow old … and I silence it any way I can.
That voice has haunted me for years,
and it needs to quiet down before I believe it.