Just a Trim

I let the barber convince me
to re-part my hair from left to right,
but for me it was right to left.

Watching ourselves in the mirror,
the silver watch on his wrist
never once obstructed the craftsman’s work.
He knew a good haircut: Whatever he cut.

I’ll put it this way: This guy cuts his own hair.
He looked me in the eye, eyes everywhere.
That’s what I like to hear, the timid don’t strive
but he’s busy now showing it’s not bluster
latching onto my head’s crown to steady the patient
to study his patient:
the customer ain’t always right, I’m tellin’ ya man.

My black cape lay still as got to work
pulling tufts of hair like clusters of weeds;
Clipping is science: You can always go shorter,
screaming Ptolemaic nightmares until
the mirror sparked his epiphany.

Have you ever thought about parting your hair the other way?
Not since grade school experimentation
we settled on right for old reasons;
clockwise is the answer and I don’t know when
but now all’s changed
my reflection in a moving bus’s window
paused, swaying over the endless curb
of honking trucks passing overpriced antiques.


  1. This poem is a formidable argument against democracy. The experts know best, after all; and you will not recognize yourself when they are done with you.

    Surely, this was your intended meaning, yes? 🙂


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