Optimism/Pessimism: A Kafkaesque Meditation

I used to be an optimist.
When I was 5, someone told me,
“Santa Claus does not exist!”

In my teens I learned he’d been murdered
by a Commie-sympathizer
with a Sears’ catalogue rifle.

Much later, I learned he’d been blown up
(with Rudolph the red-nose reindeer)
because of the cut of his jib!

Blown up by terrorists, they told me.
Because of the cut of his jib!

I could almost understand!
I never liked his garish outfits–
startling red, with bright, white trims!

(I never liked his rotund style–
that “Ho-ho-ho!” jocundity!)

It was also the “fake news,” they told me.
He was spreading too much cheer!

Climbing down chimneys in the middle of the night!
Leaving all kinds of packages!
God only knows what you find when unraveling!
He never even went thru Homeland Security!

“Get with the program!” they told me.
“The Power of Positive Thinking”
is all that old-hat stuff!

“But the children?” I wondered, “the children….
Who will tell the children?….”

Gary Corseri has published/posted poems, articles and stories at Dissident Voice, The Greanville Post, Uncommon Thought Journal, CounterPunch, Countercurrents, Transcend Media Service, Veterans News Now, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook Magazine, Common Dreams, and hundreds of other worldwide venues. His dramas have been produced on PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere, and he published novels, poetry collections, and a literary anthology (edited), Manifestations. He has taught in US and Japanese universities and in US prisons and public schools. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Gary can be reached at gary_corseri@comcast.net. Read other articles by Gary.