Monday Mar 27

Bilgere George Bilgere’s most recent book of poems is The White Museum, chosen by Alicia Ostriker for the 2010 Autumn House Poetry Series.  Bilgere won the May Swenson Poetry Award in 2006 for Haywire (Utah State UP).  He teaches at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.



Someone's taken a bite
from my laptop's glowing apple,
the damaged fruit of our disobedience,
of which we must constantly be reminded.

There's the fatal crescent,
the dark smile
of Eve, who never dreamed of a laptop,
who, in fact, didn't even have clothes,
or anything else for that matter,

which was probably the nicest thing
about the Garden, I'm thinking,

as I sit here in the café
with my expensive computer,
afraid to get up even for a minute
in order to go to the bathroom
because someone might steal it

in this fallen world she invented
with one small bite
of an apple nobody, and I mean
was going to tell her not to eat.



Out in Monterey Bay (we are told)
whales come every year. The great plankton eaters
with their mouthfuls of baleen,
whatever that may be. The lives of whales,
vast, secret, unfathomable,
go on beneath the expensive yachts

while I walk along the shore, phone to my ear,
talking to a woman back in Cleveland
who is telling me about the snowstorm there.
Unfathomable. She says she misses me
and I say I miss her, and we discuss what we would do
if we were together right now.

But if we were really together there in Cleveland
I know perfectly well we would already
have expended our pent up passion.
She'd be doing the dishes, or reading
Middlemarch, and I'd be
attaching some insulation to the back door.

It would be normal life,
which threatens at all times to drain us,
to overwhelm us, which is why
we invented the jetliner, and airports,
and Monterey. A Boeing 727, you say.
Do you really need something so big,
so costly and loud, to save a marriage?

Perhaps not. And perhaps, just
to follow your line of reasoning, we do not absolutely
need the whales—dark, unfathomable—