Naked poems

I’ve hated poems
Truly hated the longer ones,
Wound up and unfurled like fastballs,
All that kinetic energy exploding.

Toward another destination
The object of which is to miss
Entirely, something written blankly
Against the frail night hope.

I’ve hated poems.
The stupid way they lie there.
You want to roll them up
And toss them hard,

Like dead bodies from a train,
Like dead women you dismantled,
Like stains upon the carpet,
Blood let by accident.

Truly deadened poems, may as well,
Be a girl you dated briefly,
Wanting friendship, yet you groped,
Longing just one kiss of meaning.

I’ve hated poems.
Cursed their stubborn lives,
Refusing to depart this world,
As if the cab had tried,

But held instead, arguing
We against the ink yet
Managing to cajole a trip upstairs
And into my bed at 3:15.

I’ve hated poems,
Only to wake and love their
Quiet curves among the early
Shadows, laying so alone.

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Growing Old

What time again?
The play?
“I’ll stay out of your way and let go
Of my propensity for critique”, I say.

Opening at seven and my scene around
Eight. “Dammit I hate having to
Worry, my love”
Of course, she says with dismay.

Another drink then, but already
Poured.
“Be careful love, they’ll pick
You off the floor.”

“Remember New Orleans, right?
What a scene your caused
That awful night!”
You never recalled, what’s more.

“Seven for sure, and I’ll be
Sober, unless of course
I’m left to wander prior”,
I said without remorse.

“Then just say eight and be
Contrite for once!” she
Barked.
Another drink for this remark,

I poured and waited.
True enough she baited,
But I more clever, held,
For silence never satiated,

At last she met my gaze,
Perhaps more drunken glaze,
“Your growing old you prince,
But in the shadows of your age,

I cannot help but stand”,
Then reaching out she took my hand
And held it, longing.
“Eight then,” I could only stand

To manage my reply,
Daring not to meet her eye,
“Eight and I’ll be clapping!”
Eight would not be happening.

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A Night Caller

We tangled and we tussled, rummaged
For smoke, scrounged for socks to warm
That dark hallway as calling echoed still
In heavy Summer air against the whippoorwill,

Who cries in full despair his woeful shout,
“WHIP – OR – WILL!!, WHIP – OR – WILL!!
Come, come down here! Come, come down here!
And towards the fence line we crept out,

Along the path against the gurgling
Pasture creek as moonbeams peeled
Back the dark grass wet with dew
And Virgin lass of Greek myth did mew,

Come, come down here! Come, come down here!
Down along the carpet grass we slowly keeled,
I knew, I knew he hid there on small branch
Calling for his lover come, bare of fear,

As ancient Sirenuse had done, mournfully long,
Hauntingly strong, on and on and there again,
Until, a pause… and darkly rose he fluttered
Farther and lit once more to issue stutter.

Suddenly we paused and in the moonlight saw
Bright eyes of some nocturnal beast, loud with
Glow and not the least afraid to stare upon our awe,
Naked souls he found and we discovered myth,

Staring seeming time on end and then the call again
This time from where we first traversed,
Now to rush we flew! Laughing at the noisy din,
To whom we never met, but in whose calling bursts,

He may have never seen such silly ballywho
As evening lovers wet with summer’s dew,
Tapping out retreat from whippoorwill did flee
Lovers tumbling into grass did fall so gleefully.

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The Shadow Cat

Shawdow Cat

 

In darkness the Shadow Cat does dart,
To and fro along the walk we share,
Despite the knowing we fail to stem our start.

And in the failing light she does impart,
A startled fear none-the-less we aware,
In darkness the Shadow Cat does dart.

Lonely, we and she do share a world apart,
Yet we partner in the same despair,
Despite the knowing we fail to stem our start.

Fighting darkness we bind our weary hearts,
In hope of finding courage to prepare,
For in darkness the Shadow Cat does dart.

Yet whiskey, sex, nor beauty possess such art,
For suppressing deepest fears she bares,
And despite the knowing we fail to stem our start.

When light gives grudgingly to dark,
And fears rise up to once again ensnare,
In darkness the Shadow Cat does dart,
Despite the knowing we fail to stem our start.

 

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A Temporary Color

Green

It was though we we were dying over.
Failing to savor the salt of past summer
Days naked within the scented lilies,
Entwined languorously under large maple,

Or trading soft, insistent kisses,
Wet and sloppy, dripping portico
Pounded by evening pour,
Shy swallows watching – cornered.

Taking up spent tomato vines;
Turning under the rotting lettuce;
The smells of death oddly sweet, yet
Both seemed so happy to finish

Their struggle in this scorched soil.
A large Hornworm, pale emerald and fat,
Rears up defiantly on the last brown vine.
He knew green was a only a temporary color.

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A Small Token

You sit opposite my long gaze – smoking.
Long wisps curl along your lips,
Before escaping along the growing shadows.

Winter has brought us here.
Death steals and yet seems to
Return some small token, as though remorseful

Of such a solitary purpose.
For no one wishes Death’s company.
No audience holds to his thoughts, nor purpose.

Even Life must cloak her great light
When death presents the scythe, allowing
Fate to instruct as Fate decides.

In this moment, Life must sit as I do now,
Staring with quiet resolve as the soft glow
Of ash rises and falls with each silent drag;

Slow and rhythmic, as soundless as our feelings,
As stoic as our hardened refusal to weep,
As helpless as the last sentence spoken

Before we parted in summer, knowing then
Winter was upon us and fall only a bridge
For transiting the great chasm self often carves.

As last light recedes, giving darkness
Full command of this venue
I reach for your hand and it trembles.

The cold chill of Death sets in,
So that we remember summer in sudden unison.
A small token offered for His remorse.

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Night crawls

There is a brown bug on my stoop,
Darting furtively among the bright pots,
Hard back like a seashell,

Why?

What must this bug seek in the night,
Light?
I lift my foot suddenly

As if to surrender all courage,
Brown liquid in glass
Beckons to me,

Here, there, darting bug
Larger each glimpse,
Eyes me

Grotesquely.
Why?
Where is the lizard of morning,

The fat robin nesting
Nearby, the black snake who
Had slithered into my shrub?

None of them come,
As the brown shell, dark legs,
Furtive eyes, darts

Along the corner of my step.
Black shadows cover both
My fears and my foe,

The whisky burns down,
No more my friend than
This hot night air,

Where, oh where
Does this bug wish
To rest its hard shell?

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