Now that the cold war is over

the true perfection of man lies not in what man has but what man is.”

– Oscar Wilde


Now that the cold war is over

we can all pay more attention

to more pressing matters than

who is or isn’t free


who can or can’t say

what they want.

The question now is not

to be or not to be?

but rather

to have or how can I get one?

The world over soon to be lit

by Bic lighters held high

over temples that ache hard

over the hopes of having.

I have heard the Hungarians

are starting to hold back on the paprika

so their goulash will satisfy

the Italian intellectuals who visit Vaci street

in hopes of illuminating their lira.

A good friend in Moscow

swears that soon Bono will play the Bolshoi

but is very disquieted by the fact

one can no longer be sure

the vodka does not come watered down.

Why, it is even said the Chinese

once the most puritan of peoples,

are now drunk on the scent of Chanel

and pay huge fees to always lunching lawyers

who are ready to doctor their parent’s wills

so they can put good caviar on the table

and drink coke, “the real thing”

until their teeth drop out.

I’ve just read a brief news item that states

somewhere in the far reaches of Botswana

children’s lips are first sprouting the words


and the parents rather than being mortified

point to their offspring’s early sophistication.

Generalissimos the world over now swear

given the new climate of good will and good shopping

they will lay down their arms if only,

they get a nuclear warhead for Christmas.

There is nothing to fear except fear itself,

they sing fearlessly, of course!

Yes, this world is filling with the bountiful rush

of those in search of some thing — any “thing”.

My kingdom for a pair of Calvin Kleins!

(I’ve even heard Gaddafi wears them,

they are the only thing that can take the heat and

half way hold up his Arab manhood.)

There is a rumor that even on the sane streets of Kabul

a one legged Kazak sells fake Rolexs

shaking a can of emptied artillery shells

to attract his most loyal clientele.

Ah! Who am I to pretend to be a saint.

I too confess, I too have measured my driveway to see

how many cars it might hold

have bought pants whose label was outside

have cursed the fact that I had to use 1 ply toilet paper

have thought about not writing any more poetry and

making some “hard” cash.

But even if I were a saint, I’m sure I’d think up

some quaint rationalization like good old St. Augustine,

“Love and do what one will.” or something similar.

I’m told by my protestant friend that even the pope

(and he assures me this is true, he bears no bias)

puffs pontifically every now and then on a Marlboro


the world still goes ’round, hasn’t gone up in smoke.

All I can say is thank god everyone still has to

eat, shit and breathe

and some days read a few poems like this one,

to keep the cold away

now that the cold war is over.

Category: Poems One comment »

One Response to “Now that the cold war is over”

  1. ellen

    I”m still here reading, David! You are often funny : )

    Where is everybody?

Back to top