Poet Mitchell A. Kramer began writing his epic poem, Her Couch of Silence, as a younglawyer and completed it forty years later. It is the centerpiece of his new poetry collection by the same name.
The title poem explores the history of western civilization, experienced in one day. The woman of the couch spends a day in Philadelphia, envisioning life from tribal human sacrifice to the horrors of modern warfare, and from saints to monsters.
Besieged by pictures, words, faces
peddling the reconstructed old
or the vaguely new, we sit
immobile, ensconced in leather
watching a skewed or awful world
snippets of murder, robbery
tales of home invasion, tales
of killings fill quiet evenings
reality that is faked
contests where illiterates
demonstrate inadequate education.
We live solitary amid visions
amid would be leaders, needing
sound bites without substance
amid pundits spouting nonsense
amid calls to overmedicate.
How would it report the second coming
as a sporting event or as
a tale to be ignored?