First one had some things that were flash without light. Maybe this
gets closer. Whoever's in charge this week, substitute this one, please.
THE AESTHETICS CLASS
(11/22/63, 1:55 PM)
That term, I had to reduce
to a pile of notes.
That is all I remember of
It is 42 years later.
Aesthetics ceased to matter
that day at 1:55 PM Eastern Time.
Someone flung open the classroom door,
whispered in Nicholas Capaldi's ear,
and Nick's face turned
the color of rotten meat.
The guy walking down the hall with me,
too deracinated, I thought, to care,
says "Oh God, I hope whoever did this
wasn't a Jew."
On old films even now I remember
Cronkite breaks the newsman's code,
his voice cracks,
year to year unto this.
I can smell the moldy pages
and blue cover
of the meaningless Croce Aesthetics
but I can still hear the human stain
of Cronkite's split-second choke.
In the Library over Christmas break
I poured through the Aesthetics
again, more notes scrawled out,
ink on my fingers like black blood,
looking in a theory of Art for answers
I would never find because it didn't matter
that there weren't any.