Pedagogical Metaphysical Poetical Blues on Wednesday

by Kevin Sweeney

Pedagogical Metaphysical Poetical Blues on Wednesday
After the Latest Snowstorm

The girl who says she has written two books is falling
asleep in the back of the room as I read a poem
by a Chasidic Jew about the problem of evil. Two
sisters who say they weren’t able to get this book
on their Kindle keep jabbering and gesturing while
I read a poem about life on a Russian shtetel.
When I tell the joke about the difference
between a philosopher and a theologian being
that the philosopher is a blind person looking
for a black cat in a dark room and the theologian
finds the cat, another student says it seems more
likely the theologian would simply bring his own cat.
When I mention two Karamazov brothers debating
God, it’s like admitting I still use a flip phone, even
less relevant than my mention of Jerry Seinfeld
stealing a loaf of marble rye from an old lady while
back in the shtetel the 15yearold bean merchant’s
daughter cooks lentil soup for her 17yearold husband
who is returning home clutching a loaf of dark bread.
The title of this poem is “Already I Feel Like An Old Man.”
Meanwhile, in the front of the room, the pleasant girl
with 60 percent hearing loss does hear the theologian
joke but says, “I don’t get it.”