Thursday, July 12, 2018

"Ignorance" by James Frederick William Rowe

James Frederick William Rowe

"Time Lost" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
O! do not let me know
The misery of a departing train
I do not need the illumined mockery
Of a glimmering "F" fading to a distant blur
I need not be reminded of a second's delay
     So many hours
     These seconds have cost
That has robbed me of a journey home
Or worse still: An on-time arrival
To the work I am bid to do
Do not insult me as I stand
Impotent witness to a bygone carriage
My aching feet
And sweat-dewed brow
Are enough agony for me

Be now my concubine, blessed ignorance
Discreet, that my sophic bride
Discovers not my infidelity
Let me rest against your bosom
Eyes closed that I might not see
That I might not know
What I have lost today

Oh who am I kidding?

This plea is in vain
I am too faithful to wisdom
To make ignorance my mistress
It is against my nature
     My character
To close my eyes and will the truth away
Though I curse the love
That brings me such frustration
I am too enamoured to ever give it up.

Son of a bitch!
I missed the train again!

Poet’s Notes:  I spend a lot of time on the train. I also spend a lot of time waiting for trains. The latter is especially galling when I've just missed the train, thus the birth of this poem.  

Oftentimes, I have caught myself actively trying to avoid looking to see if the train I just saw pull away was my own. In spite of my wishes that I might remain ignorant, I inevitably look and thereby compound my miseries.  And in further spite of my desire to take ignorance as my concubine, I love my bride of wisdom more.  

I composed this one on the subway on a day I actually didn't miss the train. I suppose I was thinking of how nice that was.

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