LABOR IN THE FUTURE Continual production at the off-spring factory depends on joyful toil as per union contract. THE LAMENT OF AN OCTOGENARIAN LIBRARIAN The ears of gray age are evergreen to flattering young lips. Wrinkled fingers page through libraries of memory for quips and smart repartee, but arthritis turns books to dust and bugs. The passage of days makes men flaccid and takes acid to love. EIGHT THESES 01.Though may flies, we measure our lives in terms of many eons 02.Love is equal to hate and both can be misplaced 03.We jackknife ourselves before a cross, a crescent, a star, a lotus, 04.We walk our lives on that high wire we stretched between the mountains 05. Reason is trumped by belief and faith may be deceived 06.Since we invented sin, then we must devise synagogue 07.On one side the fountain, on one side the fire 08.Devotion to the mosque won't delay the mausoleum BECOMING A POET I never learned to talk, knew it from within; didn’t come by the laws of any alphabet but stole them from the din of fortune’s graduates. The body drives the mind. My throat knew how to sing before it learned to rhyme. Until my eyes could read I thought that I could think. And then, I learned to weep. QUBBA AL-TURBA AL-SULTANIYYA And Other Intimate Architecture There was a trivial citadel that existed to impede access to your perfumed garden paradise. And you were its timid sentinel. I was just a dutiful student who honored all my obligations and practiced my prayers and prostrations with you, my own beautiful student. My fingers worshiped at the twin domes that heaven your naked marble mosque. The minarets misted in the dusk and we infidels were left alone to prove the functions of 2 in math. That exercise exhausted our thoughts such that we taliban soon forgot the rehearsed sureh of The Straight Path. We had one last equation to solve-- my fixed ambition was to conquer your famed fragile but stubborn structure, penetrate its crenellated walls. Our algebra engineered a bridge, and it carried me over the edge.