The man who had never heard of Frank Sinatra: he lived A perfectly ordinary life in America. Born in 1915, He followed all the fads, read the newspapers, listened To Television, knew who Dean Martin and Sammy whathisname Were (Sinatra's friends), but somehow, by a one in a Zillion fluke, whenever Sinatra came up, he was out of the room. Or his attention was diverted by something else, and (You will say this is impossible, that it cannot be), never Heard him sing, like a man in my generation who somehow Missed the Beatles though he had heard everything else. Once, just as he was about to hear the name Frank Sinatra A plane flew overhead—he was fifty-five years old—his hearing A little more impaired. He had heard of Humphrey Bogart, Of Elizabeth Taylor, of Walter Cronkite, and of perhaps a hundred Forty thousand other celebrities names by the time he died, And yet he had never heard of Frank Sinatra. The Greeks had That famous saying, "The luckiest man is he who was never born." Which is kind of gloomy, but I think they were wrong. The luckiest man is he who never heard of Frank Sinatra.
Friendless, with an intimation of islands, The merchant set up shop on shore. He had no jovial manner and made no eye Contact with customers but gazed-- They might be birds or nations--at white Forms out there in the offing. People preferred Buying from him to pretending to be hearty And earthy--what you have to do with some shopkeepers. He was the lower-middle class transfinite-- Handing you something to eat and taking the cash With indifference like the unpainted eyes Of the oldest classical sculptures of their own erosion, The self (imagine this) no longer tainted, The blue long gone because of weather.