The Age When Professors Don’t Need Reasons (for R.H.)

The Hard Lesson by Bouguereau, 1884

He sips at his image–not ours–

drinks, and we, flotsam, catch the spillover,

ripple in wake of his kiss,

wash past the face of dispassionate genius

left to our own precipitous

(secret) fits.

He nurtures an annex of anorectics,

all thirsty, allowing mind’s pool to dry,

mind’s food to go cold.

Yet we are drunk at the cup

of the pococurante,

wetted in Laodicean juices.

Pleased, he pulls

a hair from the lip

of indifference,



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