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Arnold Klein


Gentlemen! On love affairs
No take, compared to yours, compares;
The worlds, though, on which each’s bears
                                        Is yours, and yours;
Your education hardly squares
                                        With my amors.

The world, through Erik’s Canon’s prism,
Is tinged with his charisma’s chrism.
Jack’s hard for Jill; and since Jack is him,
                                        Jill’s hot for Jack;
No point, concludes his syllogism,
                                        In hanging back.

The world, as limned in James’s inks, is
Comprised of male and female sphinxes.
However clear Jack thinks Jill thinks his,
                                        Her mind’s unknown;
And Jack can’t tell but that she blinks his,
                                        Or each, their own.

Now, Heck is right, in that address
Precipitates its own success;
And Carpenter, in that we guess
                                        And are mistaken—
That romance is like blindfold chess
                                        Against Alekhine.

So there’s sagacities aplenty
In your advice—of six-and-twenty;
But there’s no less duet-intent he
                                        Than him you’d egg:
Who’d funk it, Erik, though it meant he
                                        Could lay some leg,

Or, Carpenter, win back his ex’s
Heart and soul—the whole complexus.
For what the world, seen through my specs, is,
                                        Is repetition;
The power to change, or even flex, is
                                        A disposition

(I’d go so far as “constitution”)
With skew, not normal, distribution.
So Meghan, whose prosecution
                                        Is half begun,
Would constitute one more volution
                                        Of Meghan

Had I not died to pas de deux since,
And girls, once needful, had one use, since.
James claims rapport is worth the nuisance,
                                        Heck says sex is;
But even that confessed translucence
                                        Of my ex’s,

The more one’s vital level drops, is
The subject for a thanatopsis.
The poet’s heart her beauty stops is
                                        A poet’s still;
He wants the poem—for that he swaps his
                                        Deliberate chill.

True, dead, quoth Heck, is what a man
Cannot pronounce himself. Élan
Has got a different vital span
                                        Than bodies, though;
It dies with them, but die it can
                                        While on they go

For, posthumously, decades thence.
Then one has sex when sex presents;
And, contrary to common sense,
                                        So unLawrentian
A posture, far from negligence,
                                        Improves attention

And yields a girl a better lover:
When patients flatline and recover
They claim they felt themselves to hover
                                        About the bed—
So one makes love, as if above her,
                                        From overhead,

And is attached, like blimps on masts,
By one point only, while it lasts.
Which strikes you guys, with your brief pasts,
                                        I know, as sick;
But that’s where one dead most contrasts
                                        With two still quick,

Since all us dead still feel is pain,
Our options, that or Novocain.
I risked this round, sure I’d remain
                                        Turned, less or more, off;
But numbness—how, I can’t explain—
                                        At some point wore off,

And suddenly the whole shebang
Intenerates me, pang by pang.
What else, but brave the boomerang
                                        My own hand threw?
I never really had the hang
                                        Like you, and you,

Which it’s too late to retrofit.
Let Jack have Jill; let true hearts knit;
Let neither, how so hot, omit
                                        A prophylactic:
And I recover, post-obit,
                                        The ataractic.