Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I was sitting by myself today
And thinking this and that,
When thoughts that weren’t mine came by
And struck me as I sat.

And how I knew they weren’t mine
I find it hard to tell.
I  know my face, I know my voice –
I know my thoughts as well.

“It’s strange,” I thought, about my thoughts
(Which weren’t really mine),
“That I can think another’s thoughts
As an actor reads a line.”

And so I sat and thought those thoughts
That came there, floating by,
Will thinking too, about those thoughts
And how they came and why.

And what those thoughts might be (or were)
I really can’t recall,
For as they came, from nowhere, so
They vanished, one and all.

But while they stayed with me, they gave
Me cause enough to worry.
I feared perhaps I’d stolen them,
For which I might be sorry.

What would I say, if someone came,
Demanding their return?
And might I then be hauled to court,
To face a judgment stern?

“I  find you guilty, Joseph Shmoe,
Of stealing something precious!
To a kennel, I do sentence you –
With angry pit-bulls vicious!”

How many levels could there be
Of thinking about thinking?
And could a mind be drowned by this –
From such a burden, sinking?

The more I thought about the thoughts
That filled my weary head,
The more my worries grew, until
I wished that I was dead.

But then I thought, it could well be
If I, that instant, died,
To thinking about thinking, still
My mind might then be tied.

And so, for all eternity,
In a kind of thinker’s hell,
My blameless soul unjustly might,
Alas, forever dwell.

“Oh here lies he who thought some thoughts
(Not his), one sunny Monday,
And so expired, his mentem crushed
By pondus cogitandi.

“And since he still was thinking when
He left our mortal world,
To hellfire, that of thinking, he
Was then, by demons, hurled.”

This epitaph could well be mine,
Inscribed upon a stone.
For purloined thoughts, I might perhaps
In a fiery hell atone.

And were perhaps these thoughts (not mine),
A snare, by devils, set?
Oh, like a fish, I’d swallowed bait!
The hook and line, I’d get!

And thinking this, I panicked and
I bolted from my seat,
While thinking that, by doing this,
Those demons, I could cheat.

For I had heard that predators
Prefer a seated prey.
From one that swiftly moves about,
They tend to shy away.

And so I hopped about – and then
I twisted and I jerked,
While hoping, by these tactics, I’d
Get rid of thoughts that irked.

And I recalled that I had seen
A dog, beset by a flea,
Behave exactly as I did –
As mad as a man could be.

I thought, perhaps I’d better flee
The confines of my house.
It’s said that sunshine is a thing
That irks the flea and louse.

And who should then come strolling by,
As I ran out my door,
But a neighbor, who was known to spy –
And to gossip, even more.

She watched me hop and jerk and twist,
And her mouth was open wide.
I saw her hand was over it,
Her tonsils, so to hide.

“Oh walk along!” I cried to her.
“It’s just a doggone flea.
I think it came from a passing bitch,
Which you, perhaps, might be!”

I saw her  eyes then open more
And stare at me in shock.
I bolted back then, through my door,
And  loudly turned the lock.

But when I heard that solid sound,
I felt a strange elation.
For lo – those thoughts had left me for
Some other destination!

I wondered whether she, who’d stood
So still, as I was moving,
Was now the latest victim of
The demon, fiercely roving.

The pestilence had passed – perhaps
To her, who’d stood and gawked.
If so, it served her right, I thought,
Who gossip sought and hawked!

“Oh joy!” I thought, “I’ve rid myself
Of thoughts that weren’t mine.
To think my own thoughts once again –
Is truly quite divine!”

How pleasantly I pass my days,
Unburdened of that weight!
How hellish life must be for her,
Who spared me from my fate!

I sometimes feel a little twinge
Of pity – but no more
Than would that minstrel of the dark,
Our Edgar Allen Poe.

2014 May 19th Mon & 20th Tue
Brooklyn, New York

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