The Ghost of Plagiarisms Past

Jerzy's ghost reads the morning paper
with a wry grin, sees Terence's column dredging
up events of twenty years past, the hatchet job
of The Village Voice, the charges of fabrication
against The Painted Bird. Terence did not
forget, remains Jerzy's
advocate, points out the double standard in
the treatment of Hannah's Bondwoman's Narrative.

Henry Louis Jr. laughs
all the way to the bank, amid
self-justifying claims of emptying
rhetorical templates and seeking relations
to canonical traditions. The ghost of the man
who used the ghost-writer turns back
to his otherworldly game of polo
literary dogs no longer at his heels,
otherworldly martini in one hand.
The demons that dogged
his Steps to Being There lie as far away
as the (imagined? exaggerated?) screams
of war-ravaged Poland.

Jerzy's ghost bears Hannah no malice
and after life's fitful fever
both sleep well. Henry Louis Jr.'s empty claims
leave him in her debit, and they abuse her still
but can no longer touch her. Victims both of the pack,
Jerzy and Hannah have earned their (very different)
games of polo. Jerzy's ghost is grateful
to Terence who continues to hound hypocrites
while it lies behind him