Two Poems

by Carl Nelson (March 2019)

A Married Couple, Georg Grosz, 1930
Wife Poem #101
The main element of any United States policy toward the Soviet Union must be that of a long-term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies.—George F Kennan’s Policy of Containment
I often wonder what Mrs. Kennan was like,
and how George happened upon his notions.
Whether his policy of containment was slowly formed
from a lifetime of small budgetary expeditions such as
putting out brush fires in wildly remote shoe stores?
And regarding those quarrels with neighbors,
how did he prevent being drawn
into foreign entanglements himself?
What about verification and inspections,
spending caps and joint decisions, détente,
freedom of thought and speech, and freedom of movements?
Did his policy of stemming gradual encroachment
arise from the hegemony of snatched covers, lost closet space,
or the claustrophobia of being canned while in a pickle?
And what was Mrs. Kennan’s take anyway?
Which would be a good thing to know as
certainly the last thing anyone wanted,
including George, was a nuclear war.

Ganoven an der Theke, Georg Grosz, 1930
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in diapers. —Jean Jacques Rousseau
There are lots of thoughts but few emotions.
Because frankly, the emotions are stupid
and just, “want what they want.”
So you get tired of their blathering.
Like squabbling children they are difficult to parse
and usually, it’s past their bedtime.
For best nursing of the neonate blue state Nobel Savage
we need something like the Collector’s Genesis Edition of
“Doctor Spock’s Baby and Child Care”,
with which to manage our newest neo-primitives,
their “enslavement to their own needs,” 
and how best to change their nappies.
“The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering,”
Doctor Spock says.  And whereas Rousseau might write,
“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”
Doctor Spock here has the last word: “What good mothers and fathers
instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all.”
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
Doctor Spock’s words naturally bolster the red state view,
given Doctor Spock’s overwhelming expertise, and since
“Childhood is the sleep of reason,” by Jean-Jacques’ own admission.
“No man has any natural authority over his fellow (hu)men,”
Jean-Jacque might squall. But wearing nappies
does damage one’s credibility,
and extends one’s needed quiet time extensively.
I’m sure Jean-Jacques’ mother would agree.

Carl Nelson is relishing a smaller existence in a smaller town along the Ohio River after fifteen years in the theater world. As a playwright in pre-opening rehearsals once said, "I'd like to be a carrot in the ground." Currently, he moseys about while working on The Poets' Weight Loss Planan interlarding of plan and poems by which has lost 45 pounds. He also runs The Serenity Poetry Series in Vienna, West Virginia. His work is available at:

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


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