Friday, November 22, 2013

The Maltese Sonnet

This appeared in Lyric.

Having the frail, the dingus, and the gat,
My standfast scruples and a flask of rye,
I set her up, then I sat down and grat
Like any bairn. I spit in my partner's eye
And took a beating for him. I could draw
Honor from any gunsel gave the lie
Direct. A fat man and a slippery dame
Are markers on the pawnshop of the law.
A man should be remembered for his name;
And yet I drank to think of her forbye.

A character I am. I take no fall.
In black and white down these green streets I pass,
Errant and nicely suited. If you call,
Angel, I'll say you made a bonnie lass.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Modus Vivaldi

This may not be the moment you propose
To change the world, to bring it budding on.
I can't remember anyone who chose
A season: this became the house of sun
Without you. It will fall. These are the days
Of rain and roses. There the clover lies,
Bumbling with bees and ready to be mown;
And if now cut, then what? It will come down

Soon enough. Happens, where the lift of birds
Desperate to get it on, is just the place
For acrobats who do not know the words
To set the songs they sing. They interface
And separate and scold. And when the price
Is to be paid, these are their bids, these bards.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tarnish Town

The potentates are marching from St. Paul,
Wearing the hats they stole from desert kings,
More of them stuffed inside a tiny car
Than Billy has Spaghetti-Os. The nurse
Flaunts her prosthetic sword, says Opioids,
And all fall down. In wheezing lungs, shaved heads,
And intubated families they fail
Of faith. The potentates ride in, clean up
The tarnished town, a sink of billyclubs
And graft, and scrub the spangled bedroom doors--
They manage with panache and housemaid’s knees.
The little children smile and pack their bags
And hide under the porch until the bus,
The friendly yellow bus with plastic seats,
Opens its doors and swears it is today.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Fathers & Daughters

In Evelyn's father's den the stereo
plays black and white and nothing in between
(we borrowed it from him): Motown, James Brown;
the Beatles. We are trying integration.
The ways I'm pushing for aren't going to happen.
When we accomplish those, we both shall be
in long-off states--the Show-Me State does not
show me. It only hints what I am missing.

What I am missing, I am missing still.
Sam & Dave advise me yet. "Hold on,"
they caution, from a parsec or some such.
"I'm coming," they are boasting; and I am,
though where I'm coming from, because of whom,
they are too far away, one dead, to know.

One dead, to know which romance was a gift
I couldn't take and wouldn't understand.
Her dad was decent, tethering upstairs,
trusting the daughter, not the male, I'd guess.
A daughter is a difficult bequest
to let devolve upon a world of wanters,
x-rated chromosomers, who can synch
Temptin' Temptations, though at shower time.

At shower time we give our gifts away
to classmates' daughters' daughters. Earnestly,
we try not to remember what we were
when we had someone's daughter in our hands.
Our hands have shaped affairs since then. They rock