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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

CONJURING A GHOST--THIRTY MINUTES TILL THE NEW YEAR


I was flipping around
and landed on one of the Spanish channels
and suddenly thought of you
and wondered what you'd be doing
about now
and wondering how your life turned out
minus me

I didn't really know who you were

when you left that message
at the station
you wanted to meet me
that was how you operated
call and schedule an audience

I didn't know your songs

were on the radio
or that you would sing
your national anthem
to a worldwide audience
the night George Foreman fought 
that Puerto Rican kid 
for the title in Tokyo

 I came over to your place

( cuz took requests whenever possible)
and you made your grand entrance

I knew you were disappointed

cuz I didn't dress up
and acted disinterested
you drove me to the hotel
and I knew I had some balls
just asking you to do it

Your roommate became the intermediary after that

and she said well, you are who you are
and she likes to go to the fancy clubs
and she's wondering
would you really be comfortable with that?

The last time I saw you was at the beach

you broke free from your entourage 
came up and gave me a hug
and then you were gone

You married one of your own

naturally
with little ones and that whole trip
and hell
don't know why
guess it's just that it's 30 minutes
till the new year
and those bikini waxed babes are
shakin' and grinding their asses up on the screen
would Dick Clark approve? 
(oh well, he's dead)
I used to think that was something
but now it just grosses me out
we both came from a time and a place
when women had more class
and a lot more grace

I checked you out on YouTube

and yes you're still a beauty
though age begins to take its toll
and the glitter wears off
and so I'm wondering
did your fame bring you happiness
you know cuz
it all ends up in the same place
in the end
and maybe you're thinking it too
sitting here
30 minutes till the new year
recalling that old Peggy Lee song
Is That All There Is?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

HEARTBREAK IN FADED JEANS

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

I like it when a poem mentions a real place
like Omaha or Charleston as that immediately
tells me there won't be any faeries or elves in it
and so it's safe to continue and I like it when
a poem mentions a real thing like let's say a lonely
bus stop and I like it when a poem mentions real 
people like old lovers or new lovers and some
way that all these things come together like at a bus
stop in Omaha where a woman stands waiting for
what could be an old lover on a bus that doesn't
come and not how it makes the woman feel because 
we don't exactly know but how it makes the poet 
feel as he observes her from the gas station 
across the way and there's a chill in the evening air
and after a while he walks on over to inquire as 
to whether he can be of some assistance 
she is a dark haired woman who reminds him
of an old lover and she says where you headed
mister and he says Charleston and she smiles
and says oh that would be pretty far out of
my way as I live about five miles down the road
and he wants to say something but there's this little
voice telling him she's heartbreak in faded jeans
and he says well have a good evening then m'am
and when he pulls out of the station never to return
again he glances in his mirror and sees that she has
stepped off the curb and is thumbing for a ride and
in a New York moment (a pregnant one at that) he says
fuck it and turns the car around and you will write your 
own ending same as we all do in real life and that there's
the kind of poem I like now mister yes I surely do



Sunday, December 11, 2016

RUN





My first baseball game
second grade I believe
recess out on the playground
they didn't use a baseball
it was a soccer sized ball
you whacked at it with the bat
and then you ran
that's what I saw the other kids do
you ran

I didn't know one thing about baseball 
I didn't know you were supposed to stop at the base when the ball was being thrown there 
and someone called out SAFE!
or OUT!
mom's Second Big Mistake 
having shown me nothing 'bout anything
'cept how to be passive aggressive
so I just kept running
running home
because I didn't know 
you know
and the kids thought I was dumb or something
or maybe had a screw loose
'cause next time up I did it again
and they were yelling STOP
but I kept on running 
running home
and I didn't look back

And when it came time to bust out of
that little town 
years down the line
I ran
and kept on running
running away from home 

And I didn't look back 


Wednesday, December 7, 2016