Friday, April 13, 2007

So It Goes

(I wrote this a few weeks ago but never published it. I don't know why.)

Kurt Vonnegut, great American author, playwright, poet, died a couple of days ago at the age of 84. (click the title of this posting to read his obituary) Some people may remember him from the 1986 film, "Back to School." He played himself. But he was really a novelist who never stopped being cool. "So it goes", as he said in "Slaughterhouse-Five."

He lived somewhere near my office in Manhattan and I used to see this shaggy, disheveled figure ambling around, sometimes sitting on a bench right in front of my building. He wrote some amazing, thought-provoking lines while not far away, I write lines that sell toilet brushes to consumers. So it goes.

No fan of our current moron-in chief, he once said, "the only difference between [George W.] Bush and [Adolf] Hitler is that Hitler was elected."

His last book came in 2005 was called "A Man Without A Country". It ended with a very pithy poem called "Requiem":

The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."

The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done."
People did not like it here.

So it goes. Rest in peace, Mr. Vonnegut.

No comments: