Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Golden Years

The age that we live in is the past.
There's no need for librarians, everyone's a wiki on something.

The question of the age is: what age do you wish to live in?
Perhaps the absinthe 90's, the 50's baby boom,
Rome when it fiddled, Paris when it sizzled, Britain when heads rolled.

The hotels are roaring twenties affairs, the pharmacies strictly post-war,
The trains were made in 1970, and the stations a hundred years before.
When the buildings aren't greco-roman, they're soviet modern or deco
with arches from Byzantium and frills from gothic France.

Even the factory ruins are preserved as shopping arcades
where orange-yellow miniskirts and bouffants are all the rage
and no one pretends to make jewelry anymore, or watches or gloves
or drapery or shoes or scarves or cedar chests.

One expects wedding dresses and baby clothes to stay the same
but Harleys and Fenders and Airstreams?
There hasn't been a new kind of lamp in 30 years!

Instead there are fractals and video games,
the cartoons that you think are real,
and gadgets that bring the past that much closer to life

so we can chat about Lucy and the Seventies Bands,
relive Antietam, check the Magna Carta's fine print,
draft fantasy players for the USFL, watch handfishing passed down for
centuries,
reminisce about sit-com families before they all become dysfunctional,
see the guitar in Picasso's studio, and the glory of Monty Python's tomb.

Even the currency slowly turns back to gold
along with old books and gas station ornaments.

It's all we can do to hold on to what we are
like a chrysalis flailing through dust
squirming for the light in a cavernous glue
for some long-dreamt beauty of birth.

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