May 8, 2017

Arthur McMaster

LADA’S LESSONS

She kisses him softly, and then aggressively so.
The more they come together the more he has to ask:
Is this woman yet my asset, or am I now her Joe?

Her husband, she told him, was working in Krakow
on something, she demurred, of a classified task.
She kisses him softly, and then aggressively so.

His network, with her help, would prosper and grow,
though the chance is great that their sex is just a mask.
Is this woman yet my asset, or am I now her Joe?

What he tells his bosses is strictly need to know,
and not that her motives are as woven as damask.
She kisses him softly, and then aggressively so.

He takes what she gives; he learns to take it slow.
He does not, yet he does, want this uncertainty to last.
Is this woman yet my asset, or am I now her Joe?

As Langley has instructed all seductions ebb and flow,
yet the more they come together the more he has to ask:
when she kisses me softly, and then aggressively so,
is this woman yet my asset, or am I now her Joe?

from Rattle #55, Spring 2017
Tribute to Civil Servants

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__________

Arthur McMaster: “I spent several years in the 1970s working for the Shoe Factory, for the Company, for the Agency. I was fairly young at the time, not to say naïve, but then we were all ‘young’ in one way or another, even the oldest and wisest of my Cold War colleagues. By naïve I suppose I mean we bought into the whole messianic calling bit. I was a Czech linguist and East Europe area specialist, and even now I look back to try to understand what the cost of it all was, and to whom. I write these poems, partially autobiographical, in some sense of penance.” (website)