Saturday, March 3, 2012

For Xak:

Recommendation: go to The Writer's Almanac and listen to Garrison Keillor reading this. Also, Happy Birthday, Ira Glass! 

Post Hoc

It happened because he looked a gift horse in the mouth.
It happened because he couldn't get that monkey off his back.
It happened because she didn't chew 22 times before swallowing.
What was she thinking, letting him walk home alone from the bus stop?
What was he thinking, standing up in the boat like that?
Once she signed those papers the die was cast.
She should have waited an hour before going in; everyone knows
salami and seawater don't mix.
He should have checked his parachute a seventh time;
you can never be too careful.
Why didn't she declare her true feelings?
Why didn't she play hard to get? She could be out at some
nice restaurant right now instead of in church, praying
for the strength to let him go.
It all started with that tattoo.
It all started with her decision to order the chicken salad.
Why was he so picky?
Why wasn't she more discriminating?
He should have read the writing on the wall; listened
to the still small voice, had a lick of sense. But how could he when he
was blinded by passion? Deaf to warnings? Really dumb?
Why, why, in God's name, did he run with scissors?
If only they'd asked Jesus for help.
If only they'd asked their friends for help.
If only they'd ignored the advice of others and held fast
to their own convictions, they might all be here, now,
with us, instead of six feet under; instead of trying to adopt
that foreign baby, instead of warming that barstool
at the Road Not Taken Eatery and Lounge, wondering how it might all
have been different, if only they had done
the right thing.
"Post Hoc" by Jennifer Maier, from Dark Alphabet. © Southern Illinois University Press, 2006. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)


  1. Matty this post is so vague. I'm trying to figure it out... I'm assuming it is a message to someone so I'll just admire the lyrics/poem instead.

  2. Yes, Navi - listening to this in the car today, and the line 'running with scissors,' - my old guild.

    It was really cool to hear it being read - well-read poetry is, I guess! :) I have more surprises planned...


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