and, to be perfectly honest, it bums me out.
So many great ones! —libidinal heroes,
idealists, warrior-chieftains, revolutionaries,
fabulists of all sorts, even the great Irish pig farmers
and Armenian raisin growers —and who,
I ask myself, am I by comparison? Calmed
by Valium, urged on by Viagra, uplifted
by Prozac, I go about my daily rounds,
a quotidian member of the quotidian hierarchy,
a Perseus with neither a war nor a best friend,
and sink to the depths of despair
on the broken wings of my own mundanity.
If only some god had given me greatness,
I surely would have made something of it—
perhaps a loftier, more humble poem than this,
or some übermenschliche gesture that would reveal
my superiority to the ordinary beings and things
of this world. But here I am now, one of
the earth’s mere Sancho Panzas, leading
those heroic others through the world on their
magnificent horses, merely turning the page, dreaming
my own small deeds into their magnificent arms.
“I Think Constantly of Those Who Were Truly Great” by Michael Blumenthal, from No Hurry: Poems 2000-2012. © Etruscan Press, 2012. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)
https://hemmingplay.wordpress.com/about/ More at the link. I remember him. He was sitting in the heat on the dock waiting for the ferry to Okracoke, Island in the Outer Banks, NC. It was probably sometime in '72 or '73. He'd driven nearly 12 hours straight and was so tired he couldn't understand the accents of the natives there. I wonder whatever happened to him? I heard a rumor that he married a skinny Irish girl and they settled down somewhere, had a couple of boys, got old. He put on a few pounds. She's still got the girlish shape that caught his eye all those years ago. He probably still has that shirt, though, and still wishes he looked like this. The idiot.