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Wednesday, February 25, 2009



Love In Vain

Remember I told you how I handled Alex?
He was a bad case, eh,
What with his doing 8 bags o' dust at time,
And then visiting local bars, so sick,
Upchucking right on the patrons' jackets,
While they sat there, all innocent,
People on their stools were having a drink!

I didn't talk to him for years,
Refused all contact, I was afraid,
People had not realized how great my fear.
He occupied my thoughts night and day.

I felt he might wind up in jail,
Or dead or victim hooked up,
Like some medical experiment,
Doctors without options, practicing
Last resort medicine, wires and tubes,
And parent witness to nightmare,
The horrible ordeal when intervention
Takes place during hospital emergency.

It's not death, for death but a word.
It is the way of it. I feared.

I called it love, my having nothing,
Absolutely nothing to do with him,
Until he went for help, because he seemed
Unable to help himself, and cease
The shit with which he played.

I did not know what else to do.

Once he called me and said,
'Dad, I've got the monkey off my back!'
But I hanged up the receiver,
Didn't let him explain,
I couldn't take it, no more bullshit,
I knew he was still in the circus.

And Billy, a surrogate son,
You know the story, I … I treated him the same,
The same cold shoulder, not talking to him
Months on end, until he realized our friendship
Depended on his treating his two boys,
Like a proper father. I wanted him to put
His children first in life, and I meant it.

Forget about my smile and easy charm,
It's never smart to test my resolve.

But, darling, when it comes to dealing with you,
I find no form of human love prevails.
No mere earthly style or mode of affection works!

Oh, the poetry!
Look to the poetry I write for you.
My heart wells up, the warmest regard,
Right up to the breaking point,
In poem after poem I tried to portray
How deep, how utter the abandon,
I declared, were fate to bring us to terrible juncture,
A crossroad where all choice reduces
To either my life, or yours,

Gladly would I give up mine, I would die for you.

I used the power of verse to describe
My most intimate thoughts,
And proclaim the veracity of your physical beauty,
I wrote, RED ROOF INN for you.

I spent a year and wrote, NOW VOYAGER for you.

The time when in Brooklyn I found you,
That early, that rainy morning,
I knew you were treasure.
You, the reason, I wrote, SERENDIPITY!

And to attest to your strength of character,
To express my fondest feelings for you,
I wrote, then, over and again, I rewrote,
DREAM CHILDREN, the work was praise of you.

Oh, the tender thoughts! You on my mind
Beseeching you, and ever so softly, so gently
I sought to pull upon the strings of your heart.

And the letters, they are all love letters,
And we have a pile of them.

When I said it wrong,
Overstepped the line of common propriety,
And for those errors in judgment and phrase,
I beg you, heart, please forgive.

Whenever I lacked intellectual might,
The good sense to say it right with care,
Still it was you -- your well being foremost in my life.
My intent was proper, I wanted best for you,
And you know it! And though I wish you forever well,

Such a love you might not find again.

Yet I doubt all my love allows you any easier a sleep.

And one wonders what technique,
Just what kind of human love might lessen
The pain, the disorder troubling you,
And calm the upset delivering us
To this grisly end, the final stages of our romance.

Here I pray to God.

I fall to my knees and pray
-- Such my will to believe --
Ask Munificence be granted,
The Almighty do, on earth,
All those things that I had failed to do for you.

God's will be done.

Were it only so, had I been born, perfect.

And now, how I regret, when a child,
I wasted time playing with crystal sets,
And in the basement of my parents' home
Spent hours profligately upon
Imaginary laboratory tables with chemistry,
Meaningless experiments with liquids and powders.

Were it only so, had I been born, perfect,
A man fit, capable of grand devotion,
The kind of guy who might do you real good,
I would have turned about,
Practiced the illusionist’s trade,
And trained until I possessed every trick in the book.
Then I could live within the mirror,
And when you went to look, instead of you,
The reflection staring back, my picture of you,
The way I see you when you stand before me,
And you and I would never loose that image,
That image of you so bountiful and pure,
No confusion, still and quiet and safe,
You, never fade away from the center of sight.

There would be light, love, and just approval,
And it would be my voice ringing through
The reflecting glass, your search at end,
No more whisper of doubt, all courage,
End to frailty, sadness no more,
We would come to world without poverty,
And know only hugs, freedom and peace.

Were it only so, had I been born, perfect,
A man fit, capable of grand devotion,
The kind of guy who might do you real good,
I would have turned about,
Practiced the illusionist’s trade,
And trained until I possessed every trick in the book.
Then I could live within the mirror…

CORPORAL, All-Night Love Encounter

All-Night Love Encounter

The corporal, he saw time,
He saw thirty seconds, he saw temporal instance,
He saw the spin, the vortex, the event plane,
Where all disappeared, but to him it was real,
Just like any other object in the book of life.

He was turning the corner into his living room,
He saw the couch become clear light,
Transparent, a configuration of lines,
Blue lines on white background, and at the bottom,
Right hand corner a lined, rectangular box spelled out
Blanks to be composed at latter time,

Corporal walked out of the dream,
He slipped into another familiar space,
He lay upon the bed on his back,
He bent forwards and touched he feet,
He grasped his toes. He was smarting;

He was hurting all over! He suffered!
It seemed every muscle, every joint ached.

My! What a plethora of subjects crossed his mind.

The corporal, he saw every crack and crevice of heaven.
He rolled up, brought knees to chest, and then white light,
He caught such gigantic power,
That night he broke the bubble and went beyond,
He went way beyond the stars, he walked a field,
The wheat had grown up to his waist,
He ran full speed, and he could see himself,
He could see himself stark, dark figure in the distance,
While he ran, he ran, break neck, towards horizon,

Horizon of black-and-yellow, checker-board-colored sky,

It was at that moment he turned to ask her,

Their clothes were scattered throughout the parlor,
It was late night and a view of lower Manhattan lights,
The buildings, street lamps and bridges burned,
Out the window the illumination, awesome,
Out the window view from
The twenty-fifth floor of the high rise,

He asked how it had been for her,
Corporal wondered because they had never left
The front room couch and the sadness of reentry,
Earth’s gravity began to exert its heavy hold.

And she, adopting chapter and verse from
The good Doctor Leary’s work, replied,

“A thousand times better, it was!”
A thousand times better, corporal queried?

Their clothes were scattered throughout the parlor,

Corporal flashed in Technicolor,
A motion picture screen,
It occupied the theater before his eyes,
The hall was vast with long-drawn aisles and fretted vault,
Chandeliers lit up architecture,
A long, flat-board stage, it had a trough for footlights,
And at its edge, an orchestra pit.
Ornate blocks, and floral and leafy rosettes in high relief,
Accented the luxury, the scene unfolded
A vision, long-ago, workman studios,
Corporal saw another time, another place, industry,
Beyond narrow focus of bottom line,
He lamented how terrible the cost of greed,
How new notions, corporate priority had come replace
Every-day love and regard for hands making things.

And upon the walls were fluted columns,
Between them paintings, pictures of deep woods,
Which themselves opened upon coves
And secret gardens whose waters reflected,
Compounded a scene of amorous gods,

At sport, love making with mythical creatures.

And when his eyes returned to the drama
The show that ran upon on the screen,
At first he thought, Popeye,
But no, no Olive Oyl, there,
Instead he saw a white-hot blonde,
With long, curly tresses, bouncing from her shoulders,
-- Remember these were full action figures --
Then he realized the carton characters, which played,
They were he and she,
They were locked within impossible embrace.

Corporal heard the music score, wham bam,
Thank you ma’am, he checked,
He reached around his torso, touched his back,
He had to see were his spine still in place.

He wondered whether contortionists on view,
A dream, or was it third-person glimpse,
The camera’s true capture, the hours’ previous delight,
Now projected with vivid light,

Oh, the animation and color before him!

He mulled it over, he was trying to discern,
What was real, what was not?
And then fell to warm, all-over, pleasant body heat,
And heard what he knew was voice of the Lord,

“Eagle, Eagle arise… Why sleep now?
It is dawn, and eat and drink,
And all the eagles wait to watch you.”

And she, her face an inch away from his,
She sighed and responded, again, to his query,

“It was a thousand times better!” She said.

Corporal ran, he ran, break neck, towards horizon.

It was late night and a view of lower Manhattan lights,
The buildings, street lamps and bridges burned,
Out the window the illumination, awesome,
Out the window view from
The twenty-fifth floor of the high rise.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

STARBUCKS LOVE POEM, Early Sunday Evening Sorrow

Early Sunday Evening Sorrow

Another early Sunday evening has arrived.

You, you are gone, abroad.
I sit all alone at Starbucks, drink coffee,
Instead of us sharing our diner,
I write verse about how I miss you.

The notion, absence makes
The heart grow fonder, nonsense,
In my book no more than a hill of beans!

I am no fonder, fond of you, than I was
Ten minutes ago at the start of this poem.

I am no fonder of you today than yesterday,
Than last week, than weeks ago,
When you departed on business,
Left me in this big, old town, alone,
During that time, since then, my love,
My love has not an iota grown.

Tonight I am simply sad.
I am lonely.
I feel terrible without you.

BRUNET, By Majesty Possessed

By Majesty Possessed

The pen rules me

And often the hours fall to verse.

Tonight the subject is your hair.
God Herself must envy it.
You are one gorgeous brunet!
Were you competing with immortal beauties
In contest for "women's richest ornament",
Title would perforce be yours.

Cliché fail. I require new vocabulary,
Another way to describe your crowning glory,

Really! The words have been used
Countless times before! Tell me,
What hope have I to praise sufficient
Tresses whose luster so captivates my gaze?

What phrase may convey the special
Weight and texture of keratin length,
Presently known to my hand?

Is it enough?
May I sum your majesty, simply say?
I love to curl your hair
Round my fingers when we sleep!

I know it's early on in the affair.
Sorry should desire seem ardent.
Darling, were you to leave me,
World too cruel a place for me to be bereft,
Neither day nor night could I face without you!

Yet understand I have no wish to suffocate.
I picture no two-bit romance,
Needy lovers joined at the hip. I want
Your freedom and seek only to sleep,
Whatever the time Destiny grants,
Your body next to mine,
My fingers wrapped in splendor of you, brunet.

Monday, February 16, 2009



A Reverie

I know that by the time Isabel reaches her teens
She'll want to read all the love letters Dad sent to Mom,

And Mother,
Ever attentive to the moral order of the home,
Will have censored some details of the lovers’ delight,
Until the girl attains the appropriate age,
And she possesses the missives on her own.

Our son will study the photographs,
Taken when his parents' passion was young;
He will marvel at his Mother's beauty
And from her image learn standards necessary,
When it comes to the time
He chooses a woman for his wife.

And our children will cherish the memory of how,
Night after night and over the years,
We read to them until they fell asleep.

And their minds retain the cadence of nursery rhymes,
And the breathy note of excitement
In tales of heroic deed and glorious adventure,
And the memories of wonderful delight,
The stories of fantasy and magic create.

Their rooms teem with books,
These books form a collection, a magnificent library.
It remains today the envy of posterity.

And most of all our children recall the hugs and kisses,
The times they rode on our shoulders
Their arms around our necks,
The softness of our voice when we spoke to them,
The affection lavished without stint
Bringing to soul warmth and calm,
And that happiness evident
From childhood spent in a good home.
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