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Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Harold Meyerbeer is a
meek man with a
desire to do something a
man has not ever done
He does not yet know what it
is, but he knows that if he
sits in this bar long
enough it will come to him
The clock is ticking oh it’s ticking
Sharon Gufaltefel holds off the
world by earning degrees.
The less she knows, the more she
needs proof that she knows more
She walks her den, lined with
diplomas, and strokes the
letters that follow her name like the
heads of beloved pets
The clock is ticking oh it’s
Karen Gotterdammerung vows that,
once the last of her seven
children strikes out for college,
she will do what she really wants to do
When the youngest hits
high school, she retreats to
the bathroom and feels an
emptiness ghosting her spine.
She takes her birth control pills and
tosses them into the toilet
The clock is ticking oh
years preparing other people’s
taxes, composing mental movies of
their lives from the hints contained in
Today he applies an apostrophe of
umber to the leftmost margin of an
oceanscape and stands back
Astounded that his hands could
have done such a thing
Puts on Gershwin and cries
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Conversation, Ante Meridiem
She says her second husband committed
suicide to spite her first husband who
also committed suicide and now she
thinks of committing suicide because her
son has moved away and her
daughter is almost out of school she
waves across the street at her
old house and says he shot himself right
there so are we going to
have sex or what?
I say yes but the sun is
hovering over Cairo and
wants you to know he’ll be back.
She says are you hungry I
think I have some salad.
Monday, December 21, 2015
They drive to Big Sur and
pull into a lot hovered by
It's named for an elixir,
one that takes away all sorrows
In that case,
let's drink all that we can!
Scrubby hillsides sprayed with
copper sunset, a single
cloud in the shape of a boomerang
The Pacific far below,
a shade of forever nightsky that wraps the
continental rift like a fitted sheet
A fresh fire over
Mimi's left shoulder
Rodolfo takes a rhapsodic breath,
brings the fork to his mouth and
chews on a glazed duck that could
bring La Scala to tears
Even in Puccini,
such moments should not be possible
A truffle is a truffle because it looks like a truffle; a trifle is a rifle gone south.
The sky makes so much sense. The hunter chases the girls; the big dog trails behind; a bull stands at the gate. And the great bear, ready to dig his claws into the burberry and spin you away like a retreating galaxy.
Even on Valentine’s day, the kid with the arrows should not wake the slumbering Ursa. He is truth on four legs and not to be trifled with.
The prisoner queen sits crookedly on her throne and I am Cygnus, craning my neck into the cosmic wind. Take away the belief and astrology begets astronomy, dry telescoppery, no longer engaged in the business of seduction.
Even the serious stars are not much more than our best guesses.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Smiling Carmella finds the hard place in the middle of the garden, taps the keystone with the nail of her finger, calls me to her side.
She brings me questions wrapped in brown-bag book jackets, counting the days on her knuckles until wherefore turns into why and fires roots into the loam.
When the lightning bugs come, you’ll need solid shoes to trod the corn rows, mayonnaise jar in your hands, roll of string in the pocket of your jeans.
Goodbye, Carmella. Greet the morning side of the lake for me. Ice blue eyes, one oar at your back and singing always singing.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Each night, the picture comes to kill me:
you and the baby, walking to the bedroom.
You tie an American flag around his eyes,
then sit in the kitchen and study your final option,
silver and cold to the touch.
When did the math arrive at this?
How many drunks, flare-ups, divorces,
pregnancies, bad dreams?
Hold an invisible gun in your hand.
Pull the trigger.
Feel how it flexes a muscle all the
way back to the elbow.
The finger cannot do this work alone.
Each night, I stand next to you in a
field in Atlanta as you bring the
metal to your chest, and I ask,
What was your last thought?
Why didn’t you think of calling me?
Notes: about my dear friend Sharona, who committed suicide ten years ago, along with the kind of random thoughts that go through a grieving mind looking for reasons: the similarity to the final scene from Madama Butterfly, and, oddly enough, an interview with a pitching coach on how throwing a forkball causes wear and tear on the elbow.