October 30, 2003

October 30
--by David Lehman

after much deliberation
I have made up my mind
life may be painful, sad,
charming, amusing, unkind
the one thing it cannot be
is boring that is why I've
assigned Mozart to a certain
great jazz clarinetist and
allowed myself the luxury
of not having to make a choice
at the museum I can have
my Matisse and Picasso too
my Pollock and de Kooning
though academics claim you
can only have one or the other
that's why they're academics
and write letters denouncing
their ex-friends in journals
edited by people who can't write
for people who won't read


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