Rigoletto
by Charles Rammellkamp


We was at Rigoletto’s,
I thought, passing the musclebound guy
talking into a cellphone
in the locker room, on my way to the showers:
my mental shorthand for a goon,
a line spoken by Spats Columbo’s bodyguard
in Some Like It Hot..
His head was like a pebble
on top of boulder-like shoulders,
chest rippling with a strength
the term “six-pack” didn’t do justice.

“Thesis, antithesis, synthesis,”
he was saying into the phone,
“Hegelian dialectic. You’re thinking
more in terms of the Socratic method,
argumentative dialogue, question and answer,
to stimulate critical thinking,
though both describe a process
for arriving at truth,
but really, isn’t Hegel’s logic
more provisional, truth evolving?”

I looked at the guy again.
We was at Rigoletto’s.
Spat’s alibi he was the opera
confirmed by his henchman.
I went past the showers to the sauna,
where I sat on the hot wooden bench,
chin on fist, like Rodin’s The Thinker.






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