Matt's Manifesto
The Renaissance men are aging now,
having survived Industrialization's Original Sin
and the Information Age flood;
the need for specialization
drives wrinkles of obsolescence
through their shriveling faces
that have seen too much popular culture,
folk wisdom, colloquialisms, and fads born of boredom
to have much patience left
for the exaltation of yet another
generation of humanity so frustratingly changing,
yet flawed as we've always been.
I've given up on love,
it's a game I've never figured out all the rules,
and I'm getting too old
to be any good at playing it anyway:
"That cranky old man,
who'd put up with someone like that?"
I hear them say way too clear,
though I've gotten good at normally ignoring
what I don't want to hear.
I'd thought of holding you in my arms
while you'd tell me of the cracks in your pavement,
the ones that were flowing together today,
and the ones you'd worry would become chasms,
the ones that could drive us apart,
both of us in love with the persons we imagined us to be,
neither of us realizing then,
that living's just walking,
the cracks coming and going under your feet
and all you can do is keep walking,
and sometimes there's music coming
from places you pass, but never look up to see.
The Renaissance man from upstairs
has packed up now,
he's got his "I'm done" look
draped over his shoulder against the cold,
he's out on the curb;
the New kids have come out to play
on the cracks of the sidewalk,
and from the next block
the encroaching ice-cream van crawls, bringing music.
Jon Bohrn (2000)


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