Now is the winter of absence management
Made glorious bummer by this son of pork;
The keening wind is Carolina made,
And all this twisted truth must take some torque —

    Tall tales, tall tales,
    And such travails
    As fills the fall
    Of one who fails
    To word-wind wield
    Like parasails.

The sky grows blue for lack of cloud,
I take more license than allowed,
The lights are strung up — so am I —
And right now, even two’s a crowd.

    We come, we go
    We fall like snow:
    A time to stop
    Is room to grow —
    And petty pining’s
    All we know.

Alas, historic, I knew him best in bars:
‘Neath Amstel signs and flashing stars
We both drank and destroyed his health,
A thing he gave away in pints and stealth,

    Comme ci comme ça,
    And fa la la,
    The king collects
    At last, his draw,
    Our tribal strife’s
    Become the law;
    Beneath the shine
    The flesh is raw —

    And we must wander
    Where we’d not,
    And toast each other’s
    Sorry lot,
    And fervent pray
    We don’t get caught
    On lanes of


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