The best human gift is perspective
it’s also the worst
when used in circumstances calling for a closeup
or in circumstances that call for detachment
it is only a gift when it employs the appropriate distance
that minimizes pain
between the observer and the observed
we have a school for teaching appropriate distance
it’s called a slum a favella
do I have to stay away?
a circumstance is a circus and a stance
without the circus I fold like a limp rag
when the circus comes I take a stance
i am an observer at the circus, rarely get paid
Andrei Codrescu is a Romanian-born American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio. This poem is from the author’s forthcoming book of poetry, Too Late for Nightmares (Alba Press). He writes, “Fifty books later I still think that words are not outrageous enough.”
He lives and works in Brooklyn.