A collection of poems for your enjoyment.
A Gaggle of Geese
I will throw in my lot with the goose girl
And study the habits of the greylag geese
Juxtaposed against the shrill squeals of
Children skipping stones on a pond’s surface,
As calm as a watercolor in a Laguna gallery.
Until I have eaten a rainbow and
slaked my thirst with damp spider
webs after an August rain, I do
not wish a place set for me to dine
on destiny presented on a stark white
plate against a crisp black linen placemat
in the ambient lighting of a chic
Manhattan eatery that offers
nouvelle cuisine for the soul, life
squeezed out through a pastry tube
and called minimalism.
In that gauzy interlude
Between sleeping and waking
Cast spells on an unsuspecting slumber.
Wickedly do they dance
Now caroming like dervishes
Spectral and muted,
Substantial as clouds,
Now clear, now murky,
Prescient, on tiptoe,
Wary and watchful.
And in that tesselated
Pattern cast through the mind’s portcullis,
They creep like chessmen
Intent on military stratagems
Maneuvering mightily and moodily
Summoning courage to launch
Yet another interlude spinning
Off into the incandescence of tungsten.
Oh Sigmund, See What You Started??
I’d love to interpret your dream, you know that
One you have, over and over, the one
Where you are in an airplane and flying over
A naughty lady wearing a black garter belt?
You know, that dream?!
It is about your dark brooding side and
The temptation of Adam, the mystery of
Dreams and questing, the yearning for
Purity in a confused ethos, the pull of your
Carnality, your lust, with those white clouds
Juxtaposed above the archetypal patterns
Lurking just underneath that black lace.
I see her alabaster skin bending your Prufrockian
Will, you who are afraid of the mermaids. You
Silly prisoner of moral absolutes adrift in a world
Where grey lights chase ephemeral shadows and
Subtly shaded ironies. Why can’t you loose your
Chains, break free, dare to soar and then return
Refreshed, renewed, and ready to find out
What Jung would say? Or are you afraid
Your mother will find out?
Changing A Tire
He was changing a tire when he died and
pitched asymmetrically to one side, there
on the asphalt, in a crumpled heap. It was
in one of those office park complexes,
where small companies lease commercial space.
The paramedics came, and all the employees
came out to gawk or feel helpless or wring
their hands, because after all, a man was dead.
They had to pry the jack out of his hand, and
cut off his shirt. They tried to revive him,
but it was too late. (They were obligated,
after all, since he was still warm.)
Don’t let it be like that when I go I thought,
as one of the onlookers — but then, what
would be the ideal way? Just after popping
a tuna casserole into the oven for the church
social? Or while watching Jeopardy, and
eating a graham cracker? Or at a strategy
planning session in some executive conference
room, while trying to get your visual aids
straightened around? I guess there is no truly
ideal way to go, really, when you think about it.
So, maybe after all, to die while
changing a tire is not so bad.
At The Wadsworth
On a crisp, cold, T.S. Eliot kind of Sunday,
Prufrockian to the max, some of New
England’s most chic met in the Museum Cafe
to partake of the sacrament of Sunday brunch.
The Colt Exhibit two floors above bore
incongruous testament to man’s violent side as
perfect multi-chambered cylinders of burnished
blue steel glinted smartly in their glass cases
offset by meticulously lettered placards.
Showcased against a fine specimen of mono-
chromatic cubism, a society matron with spun
lemon chiffon hair sipped a mimosa and picked
parsley from her teeth. Her consort, natty in glen
plaid and understated tie, tackled a frittata with
andouille sausage and baby asparagus spears (oh no
my dear, it simply wouldn’t do to call it an
omelet!) and sipped black coffee.
Mere blocks away in the shadow of the armory,
in a modest diner, the hoi polloi with great robust
gusto gulped slabs of bacon with hash browns and
fried eggs and read the sports pages. The
homeless hovered outside wearily waiting for
a handout, oblivious to the art patrons spinning
in their own peculiar orbit, agog over Fauve
beasties and the vagaries of gouache and tissue
paper collaged onto cardboard — a.k.a. “mixed media.”
Knighthood Meets Generation X
A wanna-be-knight, he is an anachronism miscast
in generation X time with a mission so vague he
misses the rallying cry, drowned by the boom bass
when sides are chosen for the fray. Lacking chain
mail and a clear action plan in this cybervoid, he
dons his worn flannel shirt and consults his code before
playing a computer game. You are so bright they tell him,
you have your whole world ahead of you. Life is exciting,
it is just waiting for you, see here is your invitation.
Choking on this turn of phrase, he smolders bereft and
alone with the reality of being twenty something in a
friendless universe where life is chilly and acid rain drenches
his soul on the shortest day of the year, and endures isolation
in the company of the well-meaning but clueless.
MTV blares catchy jingles and a phone message about his
layaway item beckons deceptively with false answers.
Demons dance and furies frolic on his journey of one, and
despair struts on the stage of his solitary destiny, now in
violent rage and then again in whimpering cowardice,
in a quixotic battle that knows no victor.
Aching for the whoosh of angel’s wings to nullify this too
weighty quest, he hears instead the staccato rotor blades
of an air ambulance whisking him to a body shop for lacerated
souls with no handyman on call to mend his cast-off fancies.
Grieving for the ankle that will never be the same, he bandages
his dreams and limps to his appointed destiny with Sylvia Plath,
senses dulled by channel surfing in a vortex, pockets leadened
by the wages of knighthood on the eve of the millenium.