Oracles of Lefts and Rights


"Oracles of Lefts and Rights (The Three Stooges)" is from Bryant's song cycle The Laughing Monkeys of Gravity. The cycle sets verses from Stephen Bluestone's book of the same title.

Oracles of Lefts and Rights

The Three Stooges

How they stand with those they love
in the houses of closets and mirrors,
but how they fear only what deserves fear:
ghosts, bullies, gangsters, judges, cops,

monsters, shadows, and politicians;
how they hide in corridors while the obscure
and terrible approaches in hobnail boots
with its dire intentions; how they know

nothing at all, or just enough to keep
clear of learning, callings, and degrees;
how, lacking skills, practice, or profession,
they understand those oracles of lefts

and rights to the head from all angles
that tell them who they are and where they are,
but never why; how they somehow survive
without the least speculation or thought.

And how, afterwards–late afternoons
beyond an exit, slow drizzle on pavement,
the unhappy way out–the three of them
stay behind, better off in the dark.


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