MEDITATIONS IN AN EMERGENCY
(with apologies to Frank O’Hara)
By Paul Wilner
“I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.”
What I don’t now, nor ever will,
find essential, or even amusing.
Netflix. Podcasts. Looking up
conspiracy theories on the internet.
Calling up friends, relatives, colleagues
and asking them, what’s new,
how are you doing, are you still
alive? If so, why? If not, why not? Promoting the theory that “everything
has changed,’’ when it never has, and
never will, not after Columbine, 9/11,
Katrina, the day the cleaners lost my
laundry, the long lines at Trader Joe’s,
the fact that my neighbor bought
a gun, the color orange, for instance,
as opposed to red, or blue, or tangerine
dream. Looking for the tangible,
elusive, but right in front of us.
Your face. My own. The mirror
which stares back at us with immutable
mercy, and pity.
Paul Wilner is a poet, critic and longtime journalist whose work has
appeared in The Paris Review, ZYZZYVA magazine, Alta Journal, Barnes
and Noble Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and
many other publications. Born in New York, he's been in Northern
California for many years, and currently lives in Seaside.