THE SUBURBAN SAMHAIN
Arching my back to retrieve every last morsel,
plucking that box of mementos from under my bed.
Pissing sunlight aerating my reluctant dream,
through a window set authoritatively over my head.
Clawing calico tumblers spinning a fire rug.
Cooling autumn breeze coaxes my pray for quiet.
Timing a reason, for a time of some reason;
reasoning with myself as I attempt a guess.
The snake parade barely makes the soft corner.
Silly schoolyard plays for our reluctant dead.
Applauding round steamy cups of flavor,
warming my insides with weekend-baked bread.
Smelling the taste of damp flattened leaves,
lurching for supremacy with our tricks and our treats.
Shaking to unload the night-hijacked bounty.
Tabulating pirate counts we still have to beat.
Running with Andy to the end of endurance…
(or ‘til 9:15, three blocks over).
Slipping sheet slipping on my 12year-old poundage;
pretending ‘Little Jon’ loyalty that last day of October.
Surrendering to feelings I forget I forgot.
Rippling Polaroid shows the smile I’ve misplaced.
Leaving Andy to run Sisyphean circles in rhythm.
Throwing up my hands to save time and save face.
Resting that box back to its casket.
Shaking to the breeze in my cold solid condo.
Twisting insomnia, sweat on my pillow.
For when Halloween dies, when will I follow?
GOOD RED WINE
Now, forever, in the sudden summer rain,
I released the line of worn orange silk.
Across the fluted expanse of this new river,
dancing a quick jig as my makeshift boat floated.
Who was that likeness made under me?
I was asked to carry, but not told his name.
When hired I had replied, “For a price, I will travel anyplace.
My luggage is inconsequential, my destination only an end.”
It was a gray three days, but we made the most of it;
silence is a welcome treat for a rusted heart.
He allowed me a fine supper from his wares.
“Contraband on my boat?” I teased, but he only smiled.
There was a contact that met us.
With no handshake, leading us to three tethered steeds.
I commented about the downpour, but only the forest had ears.
Our guide never once looked behind.
I had no care to meet my employer.
I had since puzzled through the hierarchy here.
The man from the castle greeted me wearing a mask of blue velvet.
My charge and our guide gathered the horses inside the drawbridge.
For what seemed like hours-but surely only minutes-
I waited in that mist with the tall man in the blue covering.
He lifted his hand and from it fell another bag of gold:
“Leave before you must stay,” he said and turned.
I rode the horse left me and galloped towards the bay.
I left the horse, then saddled the calm sea.
My hungry boat ignored me, a jealous mistress.
But in the storm I drank from a bottle of good red wine I could now well afford.
THE SMELL AT THE BACK OF YOUR NECK
I see you go out.
All is not well with my wanting;
my fingers stretch to his car,
my eyes burn through his metallic paint,
my fat prick dents his brittle, brand new, short bumper.
Where is his tongue in the dark when you cry that you need me, yet you don’t even know my real name...I am only a symbol to you.
A symbol who watches as you go out.
A symbol that yearns for the smell at the back of your neck.
FOR THE RECORD
Gold records were sent beyond the way out.
A Voyage of hope, a welcoming shout.
From a simple planet, full of people with ears.
Computes listening, for years upon years.
Finally a sign, from uncharted space.
At long last, an alien face.
Interpreted signals the scientists read:
“When you get the time, send more Chuck Berry!”
IN THE LOUVRE
There is a story about Picasso some years ago...
Seems there was a guard, walking his rounds though the Louvre; that big museum in Paris-the too tight city of temper and cigarettes-who stumbled upon an intruder; a gray haired defacer, actually applying fresh paint to one of the Picassos!
Horrified and alerted the guard reaches the old man, quickly disconnecting the fellow from his crime-which of course was no crime at all since the old man was (as you have already guessed, you were always so much quicker then I) Picasso!
When asked for an explanation, the old master replied:
“It’s never finished” or words to that effect; illustrating my point, that...
One can grow very tired attempting to make passable the fruits of diligent unwavering labor, but most people will scoff and regard that fruit indulgent geometric bullshit anyway, and they’ll hang the stuff you think really abysmal, dull and ‘unfinished’ under the brightest lights.
I have lost
of her breasts.
Maybe too much time has passed
or there are simply too many other things occupying my mind these days.
I have forgotten what her breasts looked like.
It is a bit disconcerting
when I consider
that her breasts
were at one time
the very nectar of my existence.
How could what I once needed to sustain my very life
now be impossible for me to recall?