May 31, 2010
House of Cards
Here's a poem from a great poet, Anthony Abbott! I saw him read this poem and it was amazing!
HOUSE OF CARDS
Then the master in anger said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets
and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and maimed and blind and lame.’ And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel the people to come in, that my house may be filled. For I tell you none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.’ Luke 14: 21-24
Once there was a man who gave
a party. He invited the top of the deck.
The Kings and Queens,
Jacks and Tens, and, of course,
the Aces, those powers behind
even the Kings themselves, though
we all know it’s the Queens who run
the show. The point is none of them
came. That’s right, none of them
The Kings were busy in the walled
city, in the compound, deconstructing
their missiles, and the Queens,
the Queens were always moaning
about how overcommitted they were.
The Queens were sad, but busy or sad, it was
still a no, and the Jacks, the Jacks were cooking
up stuff, making plans, hatching the eggs
of desire and circumlocution. They were,
you might say, moving.
And the tens were so insecure, they just
sat there polishing their little hearts or
spades. They wanted to look good for
the Queens. They wanted to move up,
get a face, one of those cool one-eyed
Jack poses. So who was this guy anyway?
A nine at best.
But the guy, as I understand the story, was—
well, I know this comes as some surprise—
God. He just looked like a nine. And he was
really mad, and he told his servants, the eights,
to go out in the town, where all the new
subdivisions were, and find some sevens
and sixes, and then go down to Affordable Housing
and the bus station and the Wal-Mart
for some threes and fours, and most of all,
God said, invite the twos. By God, God laughed,
those twos are the best. And don’t forget the fives.
The fives might need a little extra persuading,
those skeptical fives.
And there it was, all those
beautiful low numbers crowding around the pool out back
drinking beer and eating chips and salsa, some of the threes
and sixes mixing it up, the sevens and fours
playing drums and guitars, the fives singing chorus.
And the twos, God bless the twos, they were
if you haven’t guessed it, the lovers. The twos
always came in sets. God liked the hearts
and diamonds best, but he loved them all.
And then, at the witching hour, or whatever
hour you like, God told some stories, and started
crying and wiping his eyes because he was so
happy to have them all there,
and as for the royalty, and as for the royalty,
and those slick behind the scenes Aces, well
there would be some wailing and gnashing
of teeth, just like the good book says. That’s
what I heard from those who were there..
Two two’s told me so.