Poetry II

Poetry II
More poems for your enjoyment . . .

Vincent Comes Out to Play

In shadows cast by Park La Brea
and kosher eateries, Vincent
comes to play bringing wondrous
toys of bright color and imagination.

Please come, children of any age may
play, he invites. These toys I made myself,
you see, from the simplicity of the human
condition refracted by the prisms of
suffering and vision.

But the children who hear the invitation
are skeptical. It sounds like gibberish.
Few stop to play and those who
tarry soon move on.

A thin boy wearing a yarmulke drags a
scuffed tiny wing-tip along the sidewalk,
gazes longingly at the assembled players
but does not stop. His Eema says he cannot
play on the Sabbath.

What an odd, frail child, this Vincent. But,
what he lacks in convention he makes up
for in eagerness. On this playground of the
peculiar, friendships are tested and found
fragile. The toys are strange, and they are old.
There are appointments to keep and, after all,
there are no irises and there is small
consolation in crows and bright boats. And
what sort of toy is a death’s head? Surely this
is not suitable for children under five.

Dining in tony splendor is sacrificed on the altar
of art, the die is cast, the choice made. And
Vincent packs his remarkable toys and moves
on to another venue, hopeful yet wary. On
another playground facing West, he will seek
the company of peasant children and eat
potatoes, honest fruit from honest toil, and
apologize to no one.


I hate it when you ask me
What are you feeling right now?
Sometimes I feel rage
and sometimes I feel
nothing at all.

Sometimes I feel glee
and sometimes despair.
And sometimes I feel safe,
and sometimes giddy,
and sometimes as
Cassandra with no one
there to listen in a room
crowded with ghost listeners
who once spewed out
their own special and
unique despair to
these very walls.

I am the oracle who
speaks of feelings. My pearls
echo from stones, once-jagged
rocks worn smooth by
alluvial emotions from
a Greek tragedy relived
in cybertime, in the milieu
of new protoplasm sculpted
from silicon.

Sometimes the feelings
come from some primal
place I learned of in
Ginsburg’s Howl
and sometimes the
feelings are so new
they do not even
wear name tags.

There is an irony that the
English major cannot precisely
put a word to the feeling,
she who tries so hard
to be exact and pick
each word just so.

Sometimes you catch
me off guard with
one of your smoldering,
insightful gazes, a baleful look you
no doubt learned in a class —
Looks 105: Intro to Invading
Privacy for Profit — and
cultivated through years of
refining your demonism
into an art form licensed by
a regulatory agency.

I would be amused, but
I am not.

This is my life.
cmp 9/14/96