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Sunday, June 3, 2012


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Remember I told you how I handled Sammy?
He was a bad case, eh,
What with his doing 8 bags o' dust at a 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 thought he might wind up in jail,
Or dead, or a victim hooked up,
Like some medical experiment,
Doctors without options, practicing
Last resort medicine, wires and tubes,
And a parent witness to nightmare,
The nasty ordeal when intervention
Takes place during hospital emergency. 

It's not death, for death is 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 hung 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 great, how utter the abandon,
I declared, were fate to bring us to a 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.

To proclaim the veracity of your physical beauty
I wrote, RED ROOF INN.

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 that I might attest to your strength of character,
Express my fondest feelings for you,
I wrote, then, over and again, I rewrote,
DREAM CHILDREN, verse which pictured you
In future time the mother of our two children.

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

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

When in this correspondence, I said it wrong,
Overstepped the line, wanted propriety,
And for those errors in judgment and phrase,
The anger, when I fell, put my own bruised feelings,
Before yours, heart, and failed to acknowledge the gift,
That your inspiration had brought me to new life,
I implore you please forgive.

Whenever I lacked intellectual power,
Whatever defect of character blocked
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 the 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,
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 -- such the will to believe --
Ask that Munificence be granted,
The Almighty do, on earth,
All those things that I had failed to do for you.            
God's will be done.


Had I been born perfect.

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.

I wish that I 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,
Work the conjurer's art so that when you went to look,
When you had fixed a gaze upon your own mirror image,
Instead of you, the reflection staring back,
My picture of you, the way I see you,
The enchantment, my awe, which is you,
Whenever you stand before me,
And you and I would never loose that magic,
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 the world without poverty,
And know only hugs, freedom and peace.

Were that the case,
Had fate conspired to have me 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,
Trained until I possessed every trick in the book.
Then I could live within the mirror…

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