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Friday, January 8, 2010

PUBLIC AFFECTION, Love in a Busy Place. A Poem in Six Parts,

Love in a Busy Place.
A Poem in Six Parts,

Parts I & II

Seven years ago, we started, friends,
Acquaintances, commercially. Later,
You worked with me, sorting jewelry.
Jarek thought us well suited, maybe a steady couple,
Figured we might enjoy, complement each other.

He said he saw you eying me.
I feared disaster, but he said, “Blame me, Stanley!
You can always blame me for everything!”

Last Saturday at the Pizzeria,
Ten AM in a very busy place,
Despite our aversion to public affection,
We lost ourselves in caress.
It was prolonged and remarkably tender.
We were standing up,
Up from our table and chairs for all to see.

God! I love to kiss you!

Later, a counterman asked, were we dating?
I heard him think, “Not bad!”
His eyes declared your beauty!
I wanted to agree, but answered, “No.”


Passion strong, I want you.

Yet our love went awry.
You abandoned each, every solemn promise,
Pulled up stakes, and left me home alone, miserable.

Still wisdom counsels me to patience.

A psychiatrist reminded me breaking bonds, the ties
Between lovers, not inconsequential,
"It's not a change of shoes," she said.

I followed her order, made an inventory.
I listed the virtues, the good qualities about us.
I put them to paper twice.
I started with our business acumen, noted, first,
Our mutual attention to detail, (we never misplaced,
Or lost a thing) then our discipline, we operated
Like clockwork, yet we always had fun,
Scouring tables and racks for hidden treasure,
We loved to play games of show and tell.

We were a team, and business profited.

Next, continuing the doctor’s precept, I wrote, how
We had worked out personal protocols,
Settled on behaviors, and aimed daily
To create wellbeing and household harmony,
I marked our mutual hope, the promise, that
Carnal and spiritual fat, years of it, we felt
The dream of proverbial bounty, fantastic, was ours.

We were being brought unto a good land and a large,
Not unlike fulfillment of the Biblical foretelling,
When up from earth flowed milk and honey.

Parts III & IV

And now, darling, I ask, might you
Reconsider the plus and the minus, love’s ledger?
Your skill at cost accounting, good,
You must surmise how tiny the downside is,
And know the total burden amounts to no great sum.

Frugal, you never needlessly cast away a thing,
Yet waste time. Squander the crafted continuum,
The more than a year and a half, our life to date,
Discard, wantonly, though you profess love,

And write of your ardor for me still.

Deaf to your beating bosom,
Refusing when you already knew,
You knew right from the start!

Ach du Lieber Herr Gott!

You deny your soul, your very passion for a man,
Who would sacrifice his life for yours!

In early youth I learned love,
I caught its lyric while I listened to music on the radio.

When I lived in Germany, half a life ago,
American soldiers played it on the jukebox.
And I heard it from Sweden on the web today,
The youth channel, clear and loud,
Singer and song, similar or the same,
The moon, big and bright, in the Milky Way tonight,
Oh, Yes! Its lyric hollers. Time’s a wasting,
There are kisses not tasted, and the hook repeats
Whole lot of living, whole lot of loving to do,
The life, the love and kisses! No one
Would I rather do it with than you.

You, that moon of song and yore,
Your reflected image, I had it in my net.
But when I went to pull it up, it sank,
Not like a fish, but as a large, awesome, golden coin.

A fisherman, I set to sea and trawled above
Muck and seaweed, and the debris of sunken vessels,
I sought to snare splendid satellite consort.


You ruin it, me being alone!

Overcome by yearning,
Believing I can no longer go on,
Face my life without you, I turn to this ritual.
I try to make matters worse.

(Audience, might you imagine the procedure here.)

I play a mental trick upon my own mind’s eye,
Resorting to a maneuver, whereby I practice
The increase of my anguish, actually,
And order memory to refresh the scenes,
Picture the wonders of our life together so far.

I recall the times I waited for you,
When I sat on the bench under the gazebo
In early sun at the Amish fairground in Columbus,
My delight, carrying your purchases to our van,
Hurrying off to the next market stall,
There we chose fruit to last the week.

And then I hark back to the highway near Princeton,
The late sunlight dappled through trees,
And touched my arm at the window
In such a magic way, that, I told you the moment,

This present instance was the happiest in my life.

Oh, how good! How good! I, wide-awake,
Within eidetic dream, glimpsed the New Jerusalem,
Gott im Himmel. Alles geht gut mit der Welt!

When these among, some my fondest day dreams,
Have utterly knocked my spirits flat,
I practice the discipline, and return, again,
I recall one instance more, one more,
Still another rapture and replay it.

Oh the awful pain, how the agony increases
When once I force myself to review,

Say, I consider, one of our nights at Red Roof Inn,
Where we stretched out under the blankets, slept,
Although we set air conditioner full-blast, we awoke
Warm, ready for the day, and we brimmed with affection,
Apparent, our love, it showed from morning at breakfast
Throughout day to moment of evening repast.

When once I have success to travel the great space
Now separating the dizzy rise of my reveries and
The sad bottom of current circumstance, I recognize,
I have attained mental frame able to withstand anything.

Parts V & VI

I am not weeping, just weary with you in my mind.
I weep when angry, and then I weep.
Were I not completely drained, I would weep more.

I, I saw the situation was wrong right from the start,
Though I thought things might be different between us.
Over and over, again and again, every day’s a rerun,
Countless slights, indignities, lack of common courtesy,
Little or no gratitude, without faith in God’s abiding love.

I wrote you letters. I said your bad behavior hurt me.
At the breaking point and wanting out,
I was desperate, fearing I would lose you forever,
I believed your plea and vow.

“Take me back and I’ll change. I’ll be good, I swear!”

I made you put it in writing,
And for a short while things improved,
Though, ultimately, what you wrote meant nothing.

You lead me on.
Your rearing has not allowed veracity.
About our relationship, you told no one, not even you.

The more you revealed to me,
Once I learned your dark history,
Became privy to your secret habit,
The more, the more distant love grew
The truth, your personal truth sundered us.


Help me, be my friend and
Come back home and sleep with me again.

Take the key and open the door,
See the beckoning path,
It lies right there before you,
Learn what countless generations know,
Willingness to change brings us life that works.
A small step prepares the leap.

Remember the sweet, sweet caresses.
Wait not! So soon all opportunity vanishes!
Consider the moment, the public affection,
If not for you, please, for me.

The hurly-burly of time overwhelms us.
No significance remains, boundless and bare,
Darling, the lone and level sands stretch far away.

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