ENCOUNTER WITH THE PEDDLER OF MERRIMENT
Is mirth a sin or is it just the poetry scene
where crows lord the skies and weavers
cast melancholic notes upon the air?
This peddler, no stranger to tearjerkers,
insists that the clouds have welled ominous
for too long. Sun on his head,
a halo as turban, fountain pen gushing
luminous ink, he embarks on a campaign
to impress joy upon every poem
He avoids the company of birds.
Their plumes, he claims, charred by grief.
He disdains the daisies. Their petals,
he claims, spotted by ash. He finds
friendship in fruits. Bananas, precisely.
He claims them pure & adopts them
as the motif of his art. I, the witness, find
fewer things as bizarre. I consider
no fruit happy. What is there to rejoice
when every fruit’s end is the violence
of the teeth? If I were a banana,
& it were in my place to decide, I would offer
no dose of pleasure nor wear a pleasant mien
Rest assured, I inform the peddler, if banana
were a poet, he would author elegies.
My mouth, the peddler claims, reeks
of the sympathies of a poet.
Why then is banana peel yellow? He poses.
I admit yellow is a rather brilliant color
for gloom but how many times have I braved
a nightmare with a smile?
Is this façade not mere appendage
for the stoic? Should we not let the banana, soft
as it is, choose its own song? I struck a soft spot.
Don’t speak for bananas, he offers as retort.
& truly I shouldn’t. Frankly, I say to the peddler,
I don’t think anybody should