One searches roads receding, endlessly receding, receding. The other opens all doors with the same key. Simple. One's quick to wrath, the wronged, the righteous, the wroth kettledrum. The other loafs by the river, idles and jiggles his line. One conspired against statues on stilts, in his pocket The plot that dooms the city. The other's a good son. One proclaims he aims to put the first aardvark in space. The other patiently toils, making saddles for horseless headmen. One exults as he flexes the glees of his body, up-down, up-down. The other's hawk-kite would sail, would soar--who has tied it to carrion and bones? One's a Tom Fool about money--those pockets are his, with the holes. At his touch, gold reverts to the base living substance. The other's a genius, his holdings increase by binary fission-- Ownings beget their own earnings, dividend without end. One clasps in a bundle and keens for the broken ten laws. The other scratches in Ogham the covenant of a moral pagan. One with alacrity answers to '121-45-3628?'--'Yes, Sir!' The other bends his knee, doffs cap, to no man living or dead. One Does all his doings predetermined by diskette or disc. The other draws his dreams through the eye of the moon.
Daniel Hoffman was born in New York City on April 3, 1923.
Date Published: 2002-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/identities