Featured: Sensible

William Aarnes

You can earn your living
teaching students
that making sense
isn’t sensible.

Nor, everything considered,
is living.

Nor is dying.

Nor, given their limits,
are the senses
fully sensible.

And common sense,
philosophers insist,
isn’t sensible—

though common sense
would suggest it isn’t sensible
to wake at three
conscious that your consciousness
will vanish.
Nor is it sensible
to arouse your spouse
by saying out loud,
“Well, fuck that.”

Nothing is sensible—

not even the solace—
what else should you do?—
of stirring sweetener and cocoa
into the coffee you’ll sip
on your customary walk
through the street-lit dark.

 

William Aarnes has published two collections with Ninety-Six Press—Learning to Dance (1991) and Predicaments (2001). William Aarnes’ Do in Dour is forthcoming next spring from Kelsay Books. Recent poems have has appeared in Main Street RagShark Reef, and Red Savina Review.