The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Eight Epiphanies

Karl Thomas Rees

In Sunday School, today,
I heard the most intriguing lesson.

The teacher began by telling us,
"Thou shalt not kill."

I'd never considered that before.

Forty minutes later he convinced me.

Now, I think,
I'm a changed man.

Speaking to Jerry Seinfeld on the payphone
helps me to better respect women.

He says, "You can't hurry love."
"But," my empty triumph asks,
"What if you just want to sleep with her, then run?"

The exaggerated disgust of his
"Oh, so you're the running type, are you?"
makes me think he may be right.

I bored myself to sleep with the thought
that there was nothing new under the sun,
and that Eliot had stolen the last good poem
left to write (which explains something
about my low wages).

But, waking up to a midnight fly buzz around my ear,
I came up with at least one idea —
write about how an urn changed my life.

On the day I discovered that I was not alone,
I walked into one of the only two-hundred-and-fifty-six
pawn shops on Salt Lake's State Street,
thinking that this was where all those lost dreams went.

I asked, "Do you have any epiphanies?"
The shark studied me with an eye glass
and asked, "What for?"

I told him I was tired of never changing.
He cursed aloud.
The last one of those had gone bad that morning.

Just when I thought the world would end tomorrow,
three five-year old girls started dancing to YMCA
on the sloped grass outfield bleachers
of a minor-league baseball park.

I tried to hide from them, while others, curious and unafraid,
joined in, their grins turning summersaults,
until all the girls in the right field bleachers
danced in front of me.

Watching Out of Africa at 3 A.M.,
I am reminded of why I want nothing more
than a one-way ticket to the dark continent.

If the film is right, then there are still places
where a man and woman have nothing better to do but live,
and where nature remains a natural event —

not like the interruption of a WWF commercial,
from which I've learned that wrestlers come from outer space.

Icicles preserved by the accident
of mid-May mountain shadows drip
last night's fury over green-leaf-spotted frostbite soil.

The reborn oak from which they hang
is even now explaining to God that
the punishment for worshipping the seasons is too much.

I hike on,
perceiving nothing but beauty.

When I sat next to you
on the train to Brisbane,
and asked if you had the time;
when you declined, but tossed aside
ruby sheets of once black hair,
as if to make your two jade eyes reply,
"But I do have poetry,"
I died and was reborn inside of you.