Rhoda Janzen
Lunch Without Genius

If it is a world without a genius,
It is most happily contrived.
- Wallace Stevens


We split the bill without
pretending. Like adults
too heartily abroad
in Disneyland, I'm up
for suckering myself:
I haven't passed the prime
of disillusionment.
But the next morning in
the loamy patch of pale

cucumber seedlings I
considered the bad lunch
with only featherweight
chagrin, the same bite-sized
sting you get from watching
fierce Wundertots on Star
Search--when some little spud,
hair plastered with Vital-
is, lets'er rip with, Won't

You Come Home Bill Bailey?
My friend the optimist
says, Don't think of yourself
as contrived; think of your-
self as self-constructed.
Ergo my construct of
the lunch is positive:
it features me for some
days afterward knocking

mud off my garden shoes
and humming, Come on home
Bill Bailey, like an old
curvaceous sexbomb, some
Carrousel Club chanteuse
with marcelled wigs and a
contralto song about
my baby, the soul of
romance, who done me wrong.