Poem: Are We There Yet?

June 14, 2021

 

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

June 7, 2021

 

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

May 31, 2021

 

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

May 24, 2021

 

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

May 17, 2021

 

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

May 10, 2021

 

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.

 


Poem: Just Like In The Movies

May 3, 2021

they circled the building on foot

once

twice

as the rain pelted down

hard like hail

 

on the street

they mugged as tough guys

in the streaming glass

of shop windows

images bouncing from the curved edges

of drops

 

in the back lane they each had time

to be shy with themselves

wish themselves luck

to be quiet and to suck up

the fear

 

the third time round

soaked to the skin

they had had enough

headed for the door

she had on a false nose and a hat

gap-teeth and a grin

he had a honey-blonde wig and a gun

 

the bank was silent

no more

 

“Hands Up!”

 

 


Poem: Southern Comfort

April 26, 2021

 

It was a slam bam thank you ma’am kind of night.

“It’s alright,” she said with a slight frisson of uncertainty perhaps

as she unwraps and taps the money-box on the dresser.

He pays to caress her, to possess her as she bumps and grinds

and too quickly finds the kind of passion paid for.

He wants more before he’ll leave: sixteen and still hard.

But she’s on guard, body barred against free love.

Push came to shove.  Above his pleas she screamed and screamed

until the apartment teemed with neighbours and passers-by

who wondered why this nigger came by and by to be in a white girl’s room.

 

It’s a warm, hormone-rushing, mosquito-swarming kind of night.

Fox-fire bright, passions tightly wound and sprung.

No brass bells are rung, no masses sung, but masses gather to enjoy

the black boy toy with the last of his time on a slippery slope

as the hempen rope grips and gropes for his hopeless neck.

 


Poem: In The Time Of The Dying

April 19, 2021

 

In the time of the dying of the leaves,

when summer’s solace is a memory passed,

and deepening shadows of evening cast

their pall ‘cross rich man’s roof and beggar’s eaves,

colours primary, raw, blast out a last

spectacular fanfare:  embroidered sleeves

to counterpoint the widow’s darkling weeds

shows off to the night no matter how vast

eternity approaching, no matter

no one escapes the black hole’s pull of doom,

and each lifes’ cloth will be cut from the loom,

no matter this, ‘tis only now that matters;

the now that paints the tree with red and gold,

regrets nothing, wants only to stay old.

 


Poem: Harvest

April 12, 2021

 

It’s raining;

trapped in the house again

with a bottle and the balance

of the sandwich

from yesterday:

I’ll stretch the bread from here to tomorrow.

Harvesting the crumbs

from carpet and cardigan,

I will not be worried

in the midst of such plenty.

It’s raining again.

 


Poem: (Lo)ve

April 5, 2021

ecce homo
this Jew ex machina
who’s purloined Pauline
aphorisms
crashed the Whore
of Rome’s machinery

— a sudden stoppage
in the
constant(ine) gears
which had weathered
the (st)orms
of barbarism and buffoonery —

died on a tree
say it
(s)aint so
devoid of (e)motion
qui(e)t, silent even
as the public gawked
and prodded
pierced
b(lo)ody hands agape.

Agape! he cries,
Love!
through the tears
renting his b(lo)ody flesh
almost as ba(l)dly
as we have
rented his b(lo)ody
super(ficial) image
through the years

perpl(ex)ed
(conf)used
gored
in the
par(ox)ysm of death
he begged
his go(o)d forgive
those who
(k)illed him
with their fears

 


Poem: Instructions For This 3 Minute 15 Second Poem

March 29, 2021

Read each word slowly.  Think about each word for 15 seconds.  Read the next word.

 

 

resemblance

impression

façade

masquerade

exhibit

display

vase

vast

obscure

mist

hazy

remembrance

resemblance

 


Poem: In These Days

March 22, 2021

 

in those days,

when we had nothing to lose,

when a shoestring would have

busted our budget,

you wouldn’t have been mawkish

if we’d lived in a belfry;

you wouldn’t have been angry

if it was ringing with bats.

you’d have loved it, and loved

life and loved me while doing it.

 

but these days,

when we have everything,

if it’s not designed by a consortium

of the better known architects

we don’t even look,

don’t even disturb our coiffeured

minds for a moment

unless it has the imprimatur

that others love it

and is, therefore, worth loving.

 

 


Poem: Finger Painting

March 15, 2021

 

 

It was a spontaneous gesture

— unplanned, unexpected

completely out of place

compared to her routine liquid grace —

but one that cannot be erased.

 

Her aura, the gentle appearance;

soft natural makeup,

the smart marquisette frock,

the deliberately misplaced lock

of hair;  her exact air was grazed

 

in that simple moment of caution

released and disentrenched.

The extended finger,

— erect, phallic, rude — didn’t linger;

but he felt it to whom it was raised.

 

 


Poem: Creme Brulee

March 8, 2021

 

To make a crème brulee

take a luscious creamy custard

and a butane torch

and burn the bugger to bits

 

cocaine and speed were her butane

her body and brain the custard.

That was her life she was burning

though she thought they were just desserts

 


Poem: Birth

March 1, 2021

 

 

We begin our passage

by passing

through a passage,

the passing through of which

seems like a lifetime

to both passenger

and bearer

 


Poem: Forward

February 22, 2021

 

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead

Beckoning us forward.  Advance!  Progress!

Regardless of the perils and our dread

 

Of failure, ever onward must we tread.

And no matter how much we feel the stress,

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead.

 

And whether we fly the black flag or red,

The same indignations we must address

Regardless of the perils and our dread:

 

The starving masses, children barely fed;

And even for those who have even less

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead.

 

So throw away your doubts; let us instead

Rejoice in future’s coming, and impress —

Regardless of the perils and our dread —

 

Our generation’s mark.  Let it be said

We lived, loved, built, and understood that, yes,

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead

Regardless of the perils and our dread.


Poem: Moments

February 15, 2021

 

ordinary lives shattered by

curiosity

&

revenge

invisible shadows reflected off

murder

&

bodies

momentary madness defence fails to

execution

&

nothing


Poem: Call In The Middle of the Night

February 8, 2021

 

 

“You what?”

“You what?”

my voice echoed down the line

like a bedlamite

bouncing off

cushioned walls.

Then,

suddenly,

the silence,

the quiet electronic crackles,

hung in the dark night

as if my question had gone,

disappeared down a deep and endless well.

 

Minutes passed, maybe hours.

 

In the end, I whispered “I love you”

and put down the receiver

as the bitter sting of nausea overwhelmed my throat.

 


Poem: Midnight Snack

February 1, 2021

 

 

It’s 2am and the furnace

of our passion

is cooling     slowly

 

we rise, tottering together,

arms entwined,

to the kitchen    kissing

 

after making love

we make toast

thick with butter     oozing

 

rich strawberry jam

streaked liked blood

or rust on a fence     rich

 

as sweet love’s triangle:

you and me and toast