Favourite Philosophers by David W. McFadden

My birth trauma was so profound
my life has been a merry-go-round.
I study and scheme and try to be
as cheerful as the sweetest buttercup.
But when I'm down I'm too far down
And when I'm up I'm too far up.

Last night as I lay in my bed
of all the people alive or dead
Humphrey Bogart came into my dream.
We were sitting in a little café.
He was relaxed, not at all mean,
a bit chubby, with a nice toupée.

On the wall was a mural I loved
but someone was painting another one
on top of it and that ticked me off.
Bogie smiled and he looked at me.
He was trying to tell me I was wrong
to worry about some stupid painting.

"Under the aspect of eternity,"
he said, "it doesn't matter, don't you see?
In my time I was a great
admirer of Spinoza, mate.
But," he added, "my favourite dames
were those who favoured William James."

From What's The Score? 99 Poems © by David W. McFadden, 2012. Used with permission of Mansfield Press.

Canadian Shortlist:

What's the Score by David W. McFadden | Sailing to Babylon by James Pollock | Personals by Ian Williams

International Shortlist:

Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, and Other Poems by Fady Joudah/Ghassan Zaqtan | Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden | Night of the Republic by Alan Shapiro | Our Andromeda Brenda Shaughnessy