The Con of It All

To the piano of ragtime music,
Paul Newman plunges his head
into a basin of ice and water.

A consummate conman, with Robert Redford,
he's up and ready to take on the Mafia.
The Sting is on.

Hollywood redresses the wrongs of the world.

From my proscenium seat, it is Newman's
awakening into action that catches
my imagination. Cool. So cool.

Outside NAFDEC cinema, Kipling's
Great Game rages on.

Yet, I am barely away. My basin
of ice cold water is going tepid.
The con of it all.

But to them it's jazz. It's all cool,
for jazz makes them look cool.

As for ragtime, just a last minute
anachronistic improvisation,
for good cinema's sake.


Kipling's Great Game was the strategic power play between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia.

Raza Ali Hasan, "The Con of it All" from Sorrows of the Warrior Class. Copyright © 2015 by Raza Ali Hasan. Reprinted by permission of Sheep Meadow Press.
Source: Sorrows of the Warrior Class (The Sheep Meadow Press, 2015)
More Poems by Raza Ali Hasan