Excerpt from Report from the road to eudamonia

Postcard unto a sense of tribelessness

But nothing so stable as form-designated hue (especially which is no
hue at all) will account for the sudden ruddiness, china-blue and, a few
months each year, light-wheat-toast. Not to mention constellated with
the fat moles of my father’s side. And something of Albion in me, and
Westphalia, and a French monarch, and a Russian princess. There is
heritage to trace, per se, and leads from the fleshy part of the Michigan
mitten back East to where my mother’s people maybe actually thought
they’d discovered something New, and back again across the months
of the Atlantic, beyond the Channel deep into the Continent, to where
Caesar’s conquests once convinced bellicose and patriotic tribes to shake
hands and not hatchets. But the brittle tree I stenciled in Ms. Rae’s fourth-
grade class is diffuse, and describes not a uniform fondue but a stew of
only partially assimilated ante-states and when I am still I stand in the
middle of them all, no allegiance to speak of, no religion or tongue or
flag to bind me, a picture brought to focus by chance alignment of many
reckless stars and libidos.

Jacob A. Bennett lives and works in Philadelphia, where he teaches rhetoric, poetry, and literature. Links to CV, other poems, and various well-intentioned screeds published at: antigloss.wordpress.com

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