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Saturday, June 25, 2011


when i was a child
i used to watch them
i hoped)
as the women
towered above me
in their adult splendor
often braless
cantilevered and swaying the way i imagined life
must be in hawaii
or california
framed in isolate wonder
a verdant horizon shimmering with bananas
and grass skirts
such a confusing metaphor i see now
chalk it up to a confused young mind steeped
in national geos
but back then everything
came into view as vivid and conflicted as betty
boop or painted velvet senoritas
from cabo san lucas
yet with a fascination that lingered as i matured
and found me asking women
if they could bring the breasts to their lips
if the kisses
turned them on when
the nipples were their very own
but the answers varied
with the person and also whether she
was drunk or sober
or dangling helplessly upside-down out of her  window
and the mystery remained
until the day i woke up
to pinch-me-can-i-really be this old
and beheld
my sagging senior magumbos
in the mirror
and cupped them in my palms
and yes by god
could damn near kiss them for real
just praying for the moment
when some stupid jerk would sidle up
with a smirk
and try to cop a feel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

ode to my new poem

i like everything
about you
so much except the way
you keep saying
and and
but and such to weave things
together that don't
really fit like the ordeal of getting used to
all the stents as if
they really went together
with that broken-hearted woman who said she
could never have
another "relationship" that would even begin to replace
what she had for all those years
with her husband who died way back in '95
and if that was what
i was sniffing around for i may
as well just forget it because the only thing that would make
her happy would be to be
down there reaching out to him
in the grave
and what was i to say to that but
i love my wife too
on her way to kingdom come
same as me and you
except her dementia kind of accelerates everything
and i have to admit
i'd rather get laid in the here and now
instead of a hospice bed or beneath the ground
but poem o my poem!
neither entombed love nor my own diuturnal mementos
can hope to match the joy
of your wanton kisses
and all your ands and buts and iffies

Friday, June 17, 2011

when i got my dentures

when i got my dentures
they fitted perfectly and everyone
said how handsome i looked
sans the protruding
uppers that had been such a part of me
gone now mirabile dictu
each tooth evenly spaced
nor did i have any difficulty getting used
to chewing apples and steak
and the ritual
of gluing the things in
every morning
and storing them away for the night
was no greater effort
than a good flossing
but there was one problem that never went away:
the disguise wasn't really me
and the lie got to be such a bother finally
that i stopped being my new self
and became just another toothless old coot
but secretly i would
congratulate myself on the courage
and truthfulness of my act
until the day came when i was waiting for a light to change
and i saw her there
jogging in place ahead of me
nipples showing
through her marine corps tee shirt
steel legs
brazenly in the sun

Saturday, June 11, 2011

miracles don't care who you are

miracles don't care who you are
like don't forget
measles whooping
mumps chickenpox yes
we had them all
plus i have to add in for me
personally diph
theria which got us
signs posted all around warning normal
people i was conta
gious nailed on the door
by the public health nurse while
the doctor stuck me
with this enormous needle
and i can still hear
mama asking will he die is this how
he ends and he hardly got started
but i came through of course
just like buck puckett's sister with her polio
stuck away in a iron lung till we about
forgot all about her
but next thing we knew there she was in the back
of buck's pickup helping him
deliver the charlotte observer in
the early morning dark
with nobody around but the milk man and the ice man
who she would wave at curled up
like a pretzel surrounded by the news of the world in stacks
taller than she was and then poof
one day she was gone and everybody thought
she had a relapse
and died but buck said no nobody would have guessed it
but his little sister
had got married and moved to
the skunk works they called it
where her husband worked on the you too
a plane that flew
higher than ninety angels
which buck's sister's husband said is about as close
to heaven as it gets