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Page 143

Life, say some so-called (hiss!) Scientists,
was stirred by lightning into spontaneous
serendipitous awareness of being aware
out of somnolent primordial soup.

What KIND of soup? Perhaps another silly
simile for the blank page: a clear consommé,
named for the process by which its juice
absorbs (consumes) meat and vegetables
and grain into its simmering clarity.

Where can we take this simile? For miles,
I hope, but only because "miles, I" has me
in its simile spell.

The poet tries to convert consommé
into alphabet soup? We readers (how
French of us!) become consummate
consumers of consommé? (Truly
for that sentence I wrote this poem.
Bah! What piss-tepid, insipid soup we sip!
Give me to drink of the red red stuff!)

I shot a simile into the air.
It fell to the page, I know not where.
(Absorbed by the blankness? A zillion failed
figures of speech texture this paper?)
Simile's missiles -- who knows what, once
fired off, they'll blow up. Quibbling squibs,
wise-fire-crackers -- poetry is a sky racket,
or a roaming candle.

Once, I myself was simply who I am,
now layered in unwanted comparisons
and borrowed bits of envied styles,
no longer I, but only
alias, I, alas.

Note: A sub-theme of this poem is anagrams: "alias" and "I, alas", "simile's" and "missile", "simile" and "miles I". The "red red stuff" is the soup for which Esau trades Jacob his birthright. (Doesn't "birthright" sound like a buzzword from the abortion debates?) Esau was a tired hunter home from the hill, and the redness of the soup suggests heartiness, something richer than clear alphabet soup. Simile's quibbling squibs light up the horizon into a miles-long simile smile.

Why the anagrams? Perhaps the rearranging of letters to make new words parodies the life-from-primordial alphabet soup theory, all those random elements churning about being zapped by that mad-scientist, lightning, and happening to become us.

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