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Albert Frank Moritz (1947-)

On Distinction


              1We won't pretend we're not hungry for distinction
              2but what can ever distinguish us enough?
              3This country, this language won't last long, the race
              4will die, later the cockroach, earth itself,

              5and last this beer bottle: silicon fused by man,
              6almost indestructible, like a soul:
              7it will go spinning ever farther from the nearest thing
              8until space, continually deepening, drowns in itself.

              9Yet we keep a hungry eye on old schoolmates
            10and everyone born in the year of our own birth,
            11and spend the nights in ranting over them,
            12their money, fashionable companions, pliant critics.

            13To live just a little longer than they do:
            14that would be triumph. Hence exercise and diets,
            15and the squabble over who will write the history
            16of this paradise of demons casting each other out.


Online text copyright © 2004, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
This poem cannot be published anywhere without the written consent of Albert Frank Moritz or the Brick Books permissions department.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Rest on the Flight into Egypt (London, On: Brick Books, 1999): 62.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2004
Recent editing: 1:2004/7/22


Other poems by Albert Frank Moritz