To Play

Actors, athletes, writers and painters

Policemen, lawyers, fire fighters

Does the mind assessing those groups

See them as grouped and feel

A different feeling while

Assessing each

What is the difference?

Between the two groups?

Why assume they are groups at all?


Maybe it’s just a bunch of words

Coincidentally placed together

A meaning from meaninglessness

Created because meaninglessness is such

A lame old time


Did you see an actor standing next to an

Athlete on a street corner, both of them bumming cigarettes

From a writer who needed to run home quickly because

His mother is folding his clothes and that idea

About chapter five could actually work

So why not ditch the coffee and lend these two

Similar people cigarettes

 See, they must be similar

But are an actor and athlete, similar?

Well, is it because how they look?

Is it the familiarity of their aura?

Are they known?

Are they celebrities?

Did they want this?

Was it their destiny to be



In the dictionary of meaning


Well, they play, don’t they?


They sit and play and think and dream

They throw their bodies around

And they accept cigarettes from writers with knowing nods

As if to say, hey

We’re from the same planet, aren’t we?

The actor says to the writer, you know

We stood together at Toot’s Shor in 1950

Right next to this guy, yeah this guy

See, it’s Joe DiMaggio, and we’re distant cousins

And it’s because we play

And that doesn’t necessarily make us more important

But it may make us more interesting

Then Toots spilled a beer onto my shoe

The athlete said, and we all laughed together

Oh, DiMaggio, said the painter

Who had been observing the scene, you see

He had been analyzing the angles, and the way the sun

Reflected off DiMaggio’s fedora in that certain way

That made him appear like an Italian Knight on temporary leave

From his mission ordered by the Pope

To give hope to the nation through

The exuberance of running down a fly ball

Before crashing into the monuments in center field

Oh, DiMaggio, said the painter

You’re beautiful

I don’t know about interesting?

I mean, from a level of pure human behavior

Could it be said with certainty that DiMaggio has a more interesting career

Than a policeman, patrolling the streets for intoxicated civilians

Who vomit on their personal page of American History and are looking

For a fight

As means for transcendence?

Is he really more interesting than a doctor, or better yet, a surgeon?

Yeah, a surgeon, they are doctors, too?

Is he really more interesting than a surgeon tasked with removing

A bullet from the brain of a victim

On Saturday?

Is he really more interesting?


Well, I suppose if the perceptions of society were removed

Said the writer, who looked like a cross between a ghost and

A shadow

I suppose if the perceptions of society were removed

We’d all have to agree that we’re equally interesting

After all, a person can only go on living

Due entirely to conditions entirely beyond his control


One second early or late

One moment of anger

One accident

One reflex action

One little step on the metaphorical land mine of odds

One singular slip

And we’re gone


Who the hell knows?

Danger is so ever-present

That humor was created as a coping mechanism

Hey, you can’t say that for sure

Says DiMaggio

You can’t say that with certainty

You’re right, said the writer

It’s conjecture, but who are you to say anyway?

You don’t have a sense of humor

Anyway, says the painter

I get the sense that you might be trying to express

The fallacy of vulnerability

Something about consequences being unavoidable

And all we can do is react

The best we can

No, I was just trying to say

It’s a certainty that


We won’t be here

Standing on this Manhattan street corner

After midnight

We won’t be able to talk to a friend

In a fedora trying to do something special with his life

We won’t be able to talk to ourselves


So, are you saying we should really do nothing?

Says the painter

That it’s wrong to try?

No, I’m saying it’s wrong

It’s wrong to be afraid

Fear is inevitable, says DiMaggio

That’s why we have policeman


Fire fighters

I’m just wondering

Said the writer

If I’m keeping track or

Getting swallowed up

You didn’t mention religion

Said the painter

Who, me, mention?

You know, at the beginning

What beginning?


About mw2828

I am a writer currently working out of the New York area. View all posts by mw2828

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