What to do

“Nothing to be done,” Didi and Gogo bicker, essentially about what to do, like an old couple of a long suffering, loving marriage. Nature is no refuge; the one tree in their world seems sick. They can’t go anywhere, for fear of missing their appointment with Godot. They hang out and talk, express various physical complaints, visit the past, ask questions they can’t answer.

The play, Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” is famously about nothing. Nothing fills the stage, informs the dialog. If they carried cell phones, their batteries would surely be dead. In any case, they’ve no one to call, and no one to call them.

The two (often described as tramps, bums, or hoboes of some kind, clowns of some sort, lost from their circus, or stripped to being human without diversion down-and-outs) might be among the last few of a pandemic, or simply retired, their pensions just enough to enable them to do nothing but talk freely, which is everything in a world of nothing.

It’s not easy – doing nothing. Even contemplating nothing can be a nerve-racking business, fraught with anxiety. Consider, for example, what nothing is. Nothing is what is not. In the beginning – well, just before the beginning, all was nought, and from naught came all.

And it’s not easy doing nothing responsibly. nān thing. And yet, if you make a practice of it, you are called a do nothing. But there is no such thing as nothing. Nature overkills. If the universe is infinite, and the universe is composed of things, there can be nothing within, and nothing without.

Consider a bottle out of which you suck everything, leaving nothing, and you cap it, a bottle of nothing. Would it be dark in there? Like dark matter? For if everything is taken out, light too must be absent. If scarcity creates value, what could be more precious than nothing? And Didi and Gogo are its brokers.

Dolling Down

Some folks like to dress
others down for a night
on the town to be seen
or to mingle in the pile

to start a scene walk
the prowl talk the chat
say a prayer to the folks
at the top of the stares

go-go with the up-flow
the effluvium of the
affluent dressed
in advertisements

ads in fashion zines
Fellinists puttin’ on
the style the smile
all the while they

used to say it was
a young folks way
but we can put on
the style any while

doll it up or doll
it down the grin
showing couth
or clown frown.

The Meta Phone Caper

His metaPhone (Q 1) holstered on his belt and boasted
like a pearl-handled spatula a fine tweezer feature purest
in the kitchen but as a mycophagist on vacation he was slow
to get the picture: he should have left the phone at home.

She skiffed his phone like a stone across the stream
and it smacked the face of a rapid rose to the lip
and flipped onto the river rocks where it slipped
like a fish and caught between silly and sorry mess

while the water ebbed aback and swirled about him
he dove again and again for the mother-of-pearl
case for his applications and poisonous twins
and recipies his personal algorithms and desserts

calendars his files and messages tips and notes
settings and cameras and his unfinished Joy of
his meals his awards medals commendations
his secret usernames passwords fundamental

identities his capabilities capacities radio interface
multi-mode banking signaling his data to Universe.
Drown rather than lose his cell. They were supposed
to be on vacation, but he was on his cell phone

and while he was on his call stung was she
by the venomous double away they swam
leaving him and his phone in the hot sand
where he smelled the world at his feet.

Now we must close our caper of the nose
before the plot thickens the dickens to play
for a meal is saga but a poem mere snack
one is shared the other kept under the hat.