Image result for moon in renaissance painting

The details don’t matter

Is what they say.

The band was crazy and just started doing things that way.

And people followed. Pitifully, because they followed.

The details don’t matter.

Think of everyone you love. Do you care about their details?

No, you just love them. The details don’t matter.

Oh but they do.

Now comes the part of the poem which turns; the theme becomes new.

(It changed—so it must true.)

Details matter a lot.

How complex, this rot.

How nuanced, this dying, which is all;

A dying which began when you were small.

Dying, so everything has to be done quickly.

Nothing can wait. The bad

And the good both happen fast

(Ahh that’s right. The past.)

So you aren’t sure if your luck

Is leading to some other disaster, or not,

Thinking and doing tied up in the rot

That is happening; you aren’t really thinking at all.

Your life, both fast and slow, the innumerable details which appall,

Don’t stop accumulating, they

Are the monster and the dribbling lagoon.

The poem’s middle ground is the moon.

“Do something, poem!” you cry,

Regretting and embracing the big goodbye,

As you paint the lean, abstract moon

With the regrets that must come soon—

In such a way that a poem’s art

Will recognize, hunt down, eat every juicy part.

You know what will be there in the end?

Strange laughter, coming from a strange friend;

The insults, the comforts, we doubt, (but like a dog—what do you want?) attend.






  1. Anonymous said,

    November 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Question for Tom…Have you ever heard of the word, “details,” being used as a slang or “screen” expression for a person’s facial features? I have a reason for asking. Yours, David

    • thomasbrady said,

      November 2, 2019 at 7:38 pm

      Not really, David. Not that I’m conscious of.

  2. David Bittnner said,

    November 4, 2019 at 1:58 am

    tom, my problems in college really “took off” with a professor who used double talk to make fun of some obvious emotional problems of mine. Once he said something like, “The details are better than what comes after them.” Thinking about it months later, I took the remark to mean he thought my looks were better than my brains, but if that’s what he meant, I think maybe his play on words was tailored to me. In view of what you and some other people have told me, I think it was probably “private language.” I consulted some slang dictionaries, too. My life hasn’t turned out badly after all, so I guess I can just tolerate some little uncertainties like this. Thanks for your input. David P.S. I told you I had a reason for asking.

    • thomasbrady said,

      November 5, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      “The details are better than what comes after them” is a pretty clever way of saying that, David, I’ll admit. I would probably want to know the precise context of that statement before guessing the meaning. I’m tempted to write a poem with that title: THE DETAILS ARE BETTER THAN WHAT COMES AFTER THEM, a rueful attack, perhaps, on an attractive lover who let me down? Scarriet specializes in the aesthetic of maudlin torture.

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