Poem: Diner Waitress

April 22, 2019

 

The waitress at the county’s

favourite luncheonette counter

swings and sings

the songs of the sixties

 

“She walks like an angel,

talks like an angel”

 

jiving and gesturing with the farmers

and truckers and travelers

flashing her eyes

delivering pies a la mode

 

“In Dreams, you’re mine,

All of the time”

 

dancing and prancing to mothers

and all kinds of others

soothing and smoothing

and smooching and cooing

 

“Mashed potato, yeah, yeah, yeah

The mashed potato, yeah, yeah, yeah”

 

passing the work day with nary a cloud

of concern no matter the crowd

that packs in the cafe

each afternoon.

 

 

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Poem: Are We There Yet?

April 15, 2019

 

feeling hot and sweaty and

ridiculous in a suit

 

— its sole function to establish my

bona fides with the customs officer —

 

I emerge from an infinitely long

flight of fancy

into a different

world

 

remarking that intercontinental travel

evokes the neurotic

in even the most ordinary

seatmate.

 

 


Poem: From Here To There

April 8, 2019

 

the wind wound round my legs,

changed direction, wiping my face

with a salty slap as it whistled away.

I veered with it, swinging south

along the strand, grinding my heels

into the beach to stand my ground

against the tempest’s growing bloom.

And though I’ve felt the lash

of fortune’s back of hand before,

never before did I assume the depths

of despair I felt that day.   No,

not even close. I looked ahead

as best I could through the spray

that pebble-dashed  my view.

The future spread before me,

flat as prairie, expressionless, gray

and drab, devoid of interest, latent or

exposed.  I sighed the sigh of the

homeless man;  then,

like a seasoning sapling,

I bent with the rain and trudged

on to Desolation Sound.

 

 


Poem: Aromamore

April 1, 2019

 

was it the jitterbug perfume

she poured on my soul

— the fragrance of an everlasting kiss —

that keeps me staring

into the dark?

my neglected work

— lying angry like an abandoned maiden

scattered across my desk —

shivers with jealousy

as I part the curtains once more

and stare into that scented slice

of memory

 


Poem: Redress

March 25, 2019

 

after,

we drifted back

through the apartment,

retracing our twin trails

of panties and socks

sweaters and jeans

boots and belts

redressing

until we were

as we were

before

 


Poem: First Date

March 18, 2019

 

it’s dark and smoky in the back

of the old Lincoln;  smells of old leather

and cheap perfume, nostalgia for the old

days sweep over me like the steady progression

of clouds wheeling around the planet.

And there she is beside me, showing me

more thigh than I can possibly handle;

an immense superstructure peeps

from the straining buttons, and I see

with the clarity of hindsight how this present

future follows the paths of the past.

 


Poem: Fireside

March 11, 2019

 

The tension seemed to fuse

his spine to his neck

and he found he couldn’t move,

bracing himself for the words he knew

must emerge

from the smudge-faced fireman.

His brain felt hollow,

as if all the matter had been extracted

to make space

for the cascade of new information,

fragmentary and wounding as it would be

at first,

that he anticipated momentarily.

 

“Your wife, sir.”

“Yes?”

 

Even as he answered, he recoiled with imminent horror;

and even as he recoiled

he hoped – inanely – that his reaction

would not form part of his

permanent record.

 

“Your wife, sir,

said to tell you,

she’s at her mothers.”

 

He wondered if he’d ever move

his neck again.