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You, poet, who live in this world, & claim to understand everything
        about Life--lyricizing in your written words about how
"Love Is At The Heart of Things"
(With its Lovers coming & going)
& About how "we live, ineluctably, in a sensuous world"

--Do you ever wonder why it is that
When lovers have come & gone (including your own again & again,
       over a period of years)
Or simply when almost anything really emotionally bad blows your mind away

Nonetheless, just beneath the surface of things however sensuous,
        there remains an underlying theme:
Economic Reality. Account Statements, Tax Returns, bills & finance charges--in short,
      the general necessity for & wholly dolorous concern about
Dollars. It 's Misery At The Heart

There, just beneath "The Delicious Appearances of Things"

Which you pretend to attend to, relentlessly scraping away;
& It feels different, doesn't it, from all those evanescent,
alluring simulacra
        appearing & disappearing in bits & pieces all the time
In the form of memories of various people you loved or even might have loved but failed to love,
All that prevailing worry about Money & Security--those perpetual will-o-the-wisp goals,
        those perennially emptying wells
Which drain away life as if someplace hellish beneath the surface of the planet.

Looking back: Should not the Truth Of Love  have been in fact, of primary concern,
        lifting you above The Empty Ditch of Dollars
Which as it tunneled its way throughout your entire life
Still, you could hardly forget?
Yes, I think Love
Is among the most legitimate of the subjects which come to mind
Among those which should have always have acted as a Mainstay & Support

Even or perhaps especially in this so-called "Capitalist Reality" of ours
        with its landscape riddled by all those glaring, gaping
Holes left by Love--or, rather, by its disappearance--
& Which keep on popping up as reminders
Obnoxiously or rather--come to think of it--actually quite cheerfully!

Right In The Middle Of Everything.

Right In The Middle Of Everything is a poem deploring hard-nosed values when they rule life. Also, poetry praising sensuous values
& praising loving concerns which can surface & break through to enhance life anyway. This lyric poem about Romance vs. Finance
first appeared in The Paris Review in l989, © l989 Michael Benedikt. Webversion, © 2001 Michael Benedikt. Revisions, 2004


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