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The Happiness

Jack Hirschman
There's a happiness, a joy 
in one soul, that's been 
buried alive in everyone 
and forgotten.

It isn't your barroom joke 
or tender, intimate humor 
or affections of friendliness 
or big, bright pun.

They're the surviving survivors 
of what happened when happiness 
was buried alive, when 
it no longer looked out

of today's eyes, and doesn't 
even manifest when one 
of us dies, we just walk away 
from everything, alone

with what's left of us, 
going on being human beings 
without being human, 
without that happiness.

Reprinted from Front Lines by permission of City Lights Books. Copyright © 2002 by Jack Hirschman. All rights reserved.

Reprinted from Front Lines by permission of City Lights Books. Copyright © 2002 by Jack Hirschman. All rights reserved.

Jack Hirschman

by this poet

poem
All that's Left
     in the world
—whether in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia
as well as in China, Japan, the United States, 
Europe, the Middle East, Africa—
all of them cannot,
   despite their resistance,
   despite their refusal,
stop this march of death
because they, 
as well as all that's Right 
in the world,
poem
Between the page with the heart
and the mind wrestling upon it,

and the ear which later will receive
those limbs of light as perfect harmony,

there's a stillness whose volume speaks
worlds of words defiant of measure,

treasures of the unsayable, secrets
of the ever-beginning enchantment

and the never-ending