“THE GENIUS”

Did one thing different.
Did one thing better
with what was available
than any that came
before, after, or during.
The genius is not much
different than you or I—
or else we would not
recognize him or her
as anything but mad;
Maybe not even human?

The genius, though, is never crazy, really—
but often plied with labels by contemporaries or
the academics who know more
about what came before and who ought to follow.
The mad genius, though, is always freed as sane,
by a later generation; Crazier than his or her own.
Galileo Galilei is one such victim, vindicated;
Sentenced to house arrest, where he stayed
until our generation launched him into space—
the namesake of a billion dollar satellite system.

The genius, you see, is responsible for the next;
For us— and the peculiar way we view the world.
The genius made the change up;
the substitution; the audible at the line,
which he or she colors outside of
just for kicks; Just to be viewed
as a goofball with unmatched socks—
while throwing up a Hail Mary— with no time left.

The genius often relies on how he or she
saw the world before he or she
was discovered by the masses.
Nothing good comes from fame for the genius,
except there’s money, love, or redemption
in the form of mints on pillows or hot showers
after four course meals in five star restaurants.

You can be a genius too. It is true.
There is genius waiting for you
in the manner you fold your laundry.
In the time of day you serve dinner— or are waiting for it.
In the melody you choose to chew your steak,
while the baked potato melts the butter and—
the wine breathes, “Etcetera.”

Genius, in its simplest form is breaking the law
and knowing how to get away with it—
and maybe even changing the law. Politicians do this.
Incest. Rape. Murder. Genocide. Nuclear War.
Hijacking planes and flying them into buildings.
These acts all contain the potential for genius—
but it will take a crazier generation than our own
to honor the practitioners, who we lock up
simply for viewing the world differently;
as a genius might, while pulling on socks.
One black— and one white;
Just to see what comes of this blend.
A Child, A Nobel Prize, Perhaps a President—
or just good luck on the day
you’ve waited your life for.

narrative poem written on 01-17-2011 by: on mattkane.com
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