July/Aug 2017 • Vol. XXXIX No. 4 PoetryJuly 1, 2017 |

A Range of the Watched and the Unwatched

 Of radio's earliest days: "For reasons that seem deeply unfathomable now, [Harold W. Arlin of KDKA] and most other broadcasters developed the custom of donning a tuxedo for evening broadcasts, even though—patently—no one could see them."                 — Bill Bryson   Or (my friend John's maxim) "Characteris what you do when no one's watching." Clever. By that standard, of course, the priestor nun or rabbi or imam can never demonstrate character in its purity, the Eyesof the All-Seeing being ubiquitousand sleepless. In an inner and windowlesshermit cell in a mountain aerie lamasery, even, this would be true, in an undersea cavern. As for the rest of us, whose faith is so much wobblier … ? The ethics of the unwatched are as variousas genetic fingerprints—more so, since they alterfrom temptation to temptation. "Never once have I gone through a wallet when the trick was out of the room," said Daizee, a [euphemism]escort, abla

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Albert Goldbarth has been publishing collections of poetry for over four decades, two of which two have received the National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest, Selfish, was published by Graywolf Press in May 2015. He tests his patience by living in Wichita, Kansas.

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Wrist Beep

By Albert Goldbarth

 Of radio's earliest days: "For reasons that seem deeply unfathomable now, [Harold W. Arlin of KDKA] and most other broadcasters developed the custom of donning a tuxedo for evening broadcasts, […]

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