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Thursday, August 29, 2013


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Remember I told you how I handled Gregory?
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 rot!,
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 own 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.

How tender and constant the thoughts! You on my mind
Beseeching you, and ever so softly, so gently
I sought to play 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, did not consider your own hurt first,
And failed to acknowledge the great gift,
Your being in my life that day.

I implore you please forgive.

Whenever I lacked intellectual power,
Whatever defect of moral character foiled me from
Exercising both the restraint of my tongue
And the rush of my fingers upon the keyboard,
Where had been my even basic sense of compassion?
Still it was you -- your well being foremost in my life.
My intent was proper, though my behavior poor,
My expression amiss, my communications hasty,
And ultimately for my behaviors there are no excuses,
However I had meant the best for you.

Yet today as well as it had been then,
I wish you forever well.

Still I doubt all my love allows you any easier a sleep.
I wonder what technique,
What kind of human love might lessen
The pain, the disorder troubling you,
And calm the upset, which at end has us delivered
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 now regret, when as 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.

Had I been born a man wise enough,
The kind of guy who might do you real good,
I would have had you in mind right from the start,
I would have abandoned my attempts at writing.
I would have turned about,
Learned 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 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,
The image of you so bountiful and pure,
You, the brilliance at center of my sight.

Had I been able to practice real magic.

There would be light, love, and just approval,
And it would be my voice ringing through
The reflecting glass, no more whisper of doubt,
My wizardly spell, the timbre of my incantations,

Banishing any word of fear and sadness, an end to frailty,
Now instead in your head the lyrics to hymns of all courage.

I would rid the mirror's display of fault and distortion.
We would come to see a world without poverty,
And know only hugs, freedom and peace.

Were that the case,
Had fate conspired to have me born
A man capable of grand devotion,
The kind of guy who might do you real good,
I would have abandoned my attempts at writing,
Wasted no time upon fruitless experiments
I would have turned about, set myself on right course,
Learned the illusionist’s trade,
And trained until I possessed every trick in the book.
Then I could live within the mirror,
I could dispel all bad images from from its surface,
Let you see how great your love's delight.

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