Monday, February 27, 2017

Elder Than Springtime

He was the elder. So he had been told.
He felt it, too. So much to take on faith,
But this, not this. He grizzled as he stared
Into the mirror recollecting zilch
Of what made him the elder. And of age,
A twist of this, a week of that, whole years
He called to mind in no detail, except
The colors of the calendars and shapes
There for memorializing the months, like May
Bedecked with buds and always breasts, but none
With heft or veins. A birthday cake of shrubs
And columbines like candles, and the wind
Which did not quite extinguish them, but made
Counting unlikely. In the dark he saw
The eyes of March, a fall of fallen leaves,
But no one younger, elder though he was.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Besame Mucho

I slept, but that did not improve
My circumstance.  Mostly the stars
And ceiling fan had stayed in place;
And Ursa Mejor barely moved.
I dreamed of you.  Sometimes you made
A different moue or sprayed your hair.
Sometimes you ran away.  Or cooked,
Patisserie or oxtail soup.
But I knew what I knew and woke
To bracelets tossed on your pillowcase,
An amulet on the ceiling fan,
And Draco Mejor roaring by.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Jenny Kissed Me

What of that? I'm not alone,
Tasting rose and bubble gum.
Years and boys, there must be some.
Some I hate, some unknown,
Time has made them dry and dumb.

Under clocks and amber trees,
What they think of in their years,
Ever Jenny, never nears.
All who did their best to please,
Kissed and captured, cold and tears,

Distant smiling, fresh and close,
These are flushed as any flower.
Real and given to the hour,
Jenny kissed me. No one knows
Jenny distant. All that power.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fabulist

My mother died before I was born,
My father before I was conceived,
All recorded on pages torn
From books not meant to be believed.

Raised in a house by an ancient aunt,
Who planted something new each day
And fed and watered me like a plant,
Until the night she went away.

Learned to read from a lexicon.
Learned to write in ink I brewed.
Saw dogs, saw snakes, saw jays at dawn
Who called my name, as though too shrewd

To let me pass. I burned it down
And let it lie. I took a stream
That floated me on past a town.
I found it flame and left it steam.

And then a path. And then a road,
And then another, till today.
This is the route the fire showed.
This is what works, the right of way.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Le Bistro Petit Mal

You know the one about the whore,
The wooden teeth, and Sully's goat?
I heard it just last night, a corps
Of lawyers, rich of scotch and throat,
Enjoying themselves. The nachos went
Well with their ties. We got and spent.

Like Wordsworth, but they didn't laugh,
And I was showing off, besides.
They sliced the hired help in half
And left them for the cleansing tides,

But with a good tip. I split so they
Could do me, too, if they'd a mind.
Heroes at rest. The gods at play.
Some nymphs abandoned. Daphne pined.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Kit & Wally

This appeared in The Listening Eye with the title "Kit Talks Back to Wally."

First Kit

If still, in spite of age and pain,
parental dust and winter rain,
love conquers all, or conquers some,
if by the grave, where love is dumb

and all young roses limp and wan,
the lovers pass, and, if they can,
disport themselves in sun on grass,
the time they cannot stop, they pass.

Else we were not. And here we are.
This is the backseat of the car
Young Andy hears behind. So prove
that what we are, we are for love;

and if you will not live with me
and be my love, then let us see
what temporary kisses do
to put death by, a breath or two.


Wally Replies

The Land of Nod is very nice,
but deportees can't live there twice,
not free like waves to come and go.
The sun departs, to let us know

it has its ups and downs. No kiss
can make it stand. We live with this
and die without. She whose embrace
extended youth and glozed with grace

day, night, and all, looks old. Poor you.
Comes noon, grass will forgo its dew.
And yet it grows. And covers all.
Your summer swears it will not fall.

If love came back, if love stood still,
if men loved long, though looks could kill,
I'd live with you, no caveat,
and be your love. Or maybe not.