Bill Yarrow


Wrote Yeats: “The intellect of man is forced
to choose perfection of the art or of the life.”

Who was Yeats to posit that separation?

I pondered Yeats.

I pondered my heart.
I pondered my past.
I pondered my children.
I pondered my marriage.
I pondered my future.

I concluded
life is rich pudding.

Life is rough soup.

                              for René Magritte

When the preacher’s dog got into the motor oil
in the alley and tore through the hotel lobby,
the aged concierge at his fluid heels, the town
predicted Tom Allen would win a Pulitzer Prize
for the story he would write for the local paper.

But Tom did not win the Pulitzer Prize because
Tom could not write that story because no oil-
stained dog tore through the hotel lobby because
there was no discarded motor oil in the alley
and the preacher, being allergic, had no dog.

No preacher. No dog. No town. No people of the town.
No hotel. No hotel lobby. No aged concierge. No local
paper. No Tom Allen. Just the viral thought of him.

Bill Yarrow is the author of Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX, 2012). His poems have appeared in many print and online magazines including PANK,Poetry International, DIAGRAM, and Del Sol Review. He is a poetry editor at THIS Literary Magazine. He teaches film, Shakespeare, and creative writing online at Joliet Junior College.
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