"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, April 8, 2011

Poetry I

“He dead”, she said. “I show”;
Then unwrapped the Holy Bible
With a picture of him, dead, still and white
Powdered and tucked in his coffin up to his neck
With a racy foulard bunched out over the coverlet

“See”, she said. “He dead”

At the wake
Herself all in black,
Disconsolate and restrained by grieving sisters,
She pulled a camera from her handbag and snapped his picture

Engraved his already black-and-white face

His black suit

His black coffin

And then, later, painted his foulard red
Like a blooming rose for her memory.

I'm going to light a cigar, 
Puff on the blue, billowing smoke,
Suck it deep, feel it hit deep inside
Suck it again, my whole insides full

I'm going to light another
Taste the sweetness of the leaves on my tongue
Taste the bite of the smoke

Suck it down again, and
Blow out enormous, cumulous, billowed, soft, enveloping clouds of smoke

Old Maid
Her long, white finters wiped
  her tea cup clean like a chalice

Brushed crumbs from the tablecloth
  like bits of host from the altar,
Smoothing wrinkles,
Patting her lips dry.

Bloodless movements 
Without the passion and the sacrifice of the Mass

Group Tourists

Group tourists, strung together
   like goods in a bazaar
Shake one, they all shake
Drawn taut with perimeter wire
To keep out the sapper, the fox

I am an observer, a reader of signs
A decipherer of origins
An eye-painter

The East Side
the East Side is funny
with its curly hair
  in the morning

not so funny when
  the subway
breathes up its thighs
  and sighs


I met a man worried about his feet
About a fungus growing in the drain
  crawling, oozing up onto his feet

"You can never be too careful", he said
Stopping to buy Lysol
To put in his travel kit
For hotel drains
To stop the ooze
And let him sleep

My iron-clad case is rusty
My open-and-shut one mildewed
The vent to my emotions not working
My heart strings frayed through

I'm a pitiable mess
My body needs overhaul
Prices are rising, and I'm surmising
I'll not be fixed at all

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