Encounter With the Peddler of Merriment



Is mirth a sin or is it just the poetry scene

where crows lord the skies and weavers

cast melancholic notes upon the air?


This peddler, no stranger to tearjerkers,

insists that the clouds have welled ominous

for too long. Sun on his head,


a halo as turban, fountain pen gushing

luminous ink, he embarks on a campaign

to impress joy upon every poem 


He avoids the company of birds.

Their plumes, he claims, charred by grief.

He disdains the daisies. Their petals,


he claims, spotted by ash. He finds

friendship in fruits. Bananas, precisely.

He claims them pure & adopts them 


as the motif of his art. I, the witness, find

fewer things as bizarre. I consider 

no fruit happy. What is there to rejoice


when every fruit’s end is the violence

of the teeth? If I were a banana,

& it were in my place to decide, I would offer 


no dose of pleasure nor wear a pleasant mien

Rest assured, I inform the peddler, if banana 

were a poet, he would author elegies. 


My mouth, the peddler claims, reeks

of the sympathies of a poet. 

Why then is banana peel yellow? He poses.


I admit yellow is a rather brilliant color 

for gloom but how many times have I braved

a nightmare with a smile?

Is this façade not mere appendage

for the stoic? Should we not let the banana, soft

as it is, choose its own song? I struck a soft spot.

Don’t speak for bananas, he offers as retort.

& truly I shouldn’t. Frankly, I say to the peddler,

I don’t think anybody should


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