I am certainly delighted for you,
and the man I once was would have envied
your good fortune: a swimming pool of your
own – in ground, no less – deep enough that a
diving board won’t cause you to dash out your
brains. God knows it’s a lot of work to keep
the gunk and dead things from scummying up
the surface, and clogging the shuttered vents.
Those spurting apertures that I enjoyed
stopping with my little fingers: they work
wth the vents to recycle the water,
no? . I say, take that, Heraclitus!, I
know at least one man who steps into the
same water over and over again.
But Heraclitus was talking about
rivers, and we’re talking about your pool.
We’re talking about astoundingly clear
water, dosed with enough chlorine to kill
algae, bacteria, and anyone
who drinks a good deal of it. We don’t mean
the philosopher’s river, that cannot
keep itself alive without taking on
the flotsam and brackish film of the Earth.
That is where they have to do their swimming,
who cannot get themselves a pool, or get
in good enough with the pool people that
they may be invited to dip, or float,
or gather coins at the plastic bottom.
And don’t even get me started about
the beach crowd, so peppered and assaulted
with unmentionable sand that they rinse
off in that source of all filth, the ocean,
or her retarded sisters, the sounds, bays
and tidal straits – why, just about any
puddle of fish urine left behind by
the shifting of Great Pangaea, or the
occlusion of Mythic Atlantis. Don’t
get me started on folks who just managed
to crawl out of the ooze, lounging on the
shore, and daring the tide to give them back
their gills. Who had to try to sun-bathe by
dusk on this Ozone-forsaken planet?
Forgive me for ranting when today is
really about you and your swimming pool!
Forgive me for doing anything to
vex you as June glides into July, as
August gapes like a pizza oven,
and here’s me in my corduroy trousers!
Please don’t listen to those snooty hotel
managers who bray of my trespasses –
tales of furtive, drunken forays over
fences and under tarps. Please ignore those
vicious rumors against my poor sphincter.
Forgive me for anything that might have
landed me in your bad books. I repent:
speak but pool, and I’ll be new baptized!
Blessed be you! And blessed be your pool!
Blessed be the purifying filter!
Blessed be the shiny metal ladders!
Blessed be the bobbing thermometer!
Blessed be the shallows for the children!
Blessed be the shallows for the timid!
Blessed be the deep end for the divers!
Blessed be the deep-end cannonballers!
Praise your pool in the temple cabana!
Praise your pool on the solemn patio!
Praise your pool with our barbecue incense!
Praise your pool with our tinkling ice cubes!
Praised be the suburban Jerusalem!
Praised be the dawn of Eternal Summer!
Let me go swimming, you lucky bastard!
Let me go swimming, you selfish bastard!
Let me go swimming, you arrogant swine!
Let me go swimming, you home-owning shill!
Let me go swimming, or else, I’ll smite you!
Let me go swimming, as per our friendship!
Let me go swimming - you know I’m playing….
Let me go swimming - you know I love you….
Let me go swimming, eleven more times!