Poetry by Robert Laughlin
The Retailer’s Use for the Failed Big Box
Now let me think…
a roller skating rink?
Or tell a local moviemaker, come and get
your private motion-picture set.
Or send out flyers:
here’s a meeting place for laid-off employees, now Occupiers.
I’d better make my mind up fast;
my company’s monopoly on empty boxes sure won’t last.
The Prize That Matters Less
The final day of Dionysia:
The tragedies have now been judged,
And all of Athens showers praise
Upon the ivy-covered head of Philocles.
Applauding more politely than the rest
Whose Oedipus the King did not provide delight.
He dutifully smiles while brushing off a hyacinth
Intended for the garland at the winner’s feet.
A fanfare, played by flutes and blaring horns
And doubled down by choristers, attends the irony.
The losing dramatist can never know
His thoughts and feelings of the moment will recur
Within a man named Welles
In far-off AD Nineteen Forty-Two.