Soot on LA highway signs. Billboard of you,
a real estate agent. All endeavor slides
toward inertia, extinction, forgetfulness.
It’s very tropical. Vegetation invades
the house unless constant inputs of joy
apply. The scientist in you feels the
great ape in you. The great ape feels
death growing wide. What about work?
I devote my present to my future existence.
In what way, in what sense
does one continue to resist. As
a dessicated cell, a mole of elements,
an ancient’s aura, a daguerreotype-like
shadow on a sidewalk, persistent headache,
paleolithic herbivore, potential energy, will.
Some wake up and pray, say thanks for
another day. Others curse their luck, stale breath,
the very thought of the rosy dawn makes them ill.
Lonely as leaf fall.
Nature knows no pity or self-pity
according to antiquity, the roof soot of the city.
I admire fire, tools and ore. Agriculture.
Cities, empire. Trading and taking (war).
Numbers, counting, writing. Libraries, discoveries, zero.
And the single-minded universe
that’s only a paper moon
without your love.
--Harburg, Yip and Rose, Billy, "It's Only a Paper Moon", as performed by Nat King Cole, The King Cole Trio Vol 1, 1943.