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Saturday, July 23, 2011

When I Got on the Bus to LaGuardia

When I got on the bus
to LaGuardia
there was a guy in an aisle seat
both hands waving up and down
with a chopping motion
as he pleaded with the woman beside him
saying but that's not me that's
not who I am can't you see
except when he glanced up and our eyes met
we both knew
if the woman did not
who was who
and what was what

Sunday, July 10, 2011


been so depressed lately
which has to do
with several things
from the oxycodone for one
and then when i went to visit barbara
at the nursing home yesterday
she didn't recognize me at all staring
blankly trying to understand
who was this smiling and holding her hand
and then this place
i've come home to
none of it the same somehow
even the dog doesn't trust me
and back on prednisone for the gout
waking up drenched
in sweat and robert sleeping
all day and terry awake
early coming upstairs babbling to herself
as much as to me
so what do i do but turn to the past
seeking some relief
in what used to be and for some reason apart
from all the others you
came to mind so i went to the white pages first
and found two addresses right away
with a shared phone number
but it was disconnected and then i googled
for a while and found this lovely
formal portrait you had made
back in '92
when you were what 58 your hair already white
wearing a corduroy dress with
the zipper undone just so
not at all a sexy photo to anyone but maybe me
so i took a stab
in the dark and called your ex
remarried now but hope-a-hope he
had stayed in touch
and of course he was out doing a documentary
for pbs but his wife said listen
they did have your number for all the good it would do
cause didn't i hear you have alzheimer's
poor thing
and who will be next she wonders cause wasn't it you
(meaning you)
that kept saying don't cook nothing
in aluminum or drink diet drinks and nobody now
to look after you
but this guy called bob
and what she wants to know is what happened to that woman
you said you were married to which
is against the law in carolina so who was
fooling who
if it's not between a man and a woman
where is the truth in it anyway
and when you get old and crazy what does your queer wife do
but call up somebody named good
ole bob to leave you to
(or gunga din or one named jim i think)
but if ever you should wonder
why i don't call
(if you can still wonder at all)
it's cause i can't bear to be a stranger
one more time
and settle on this poem instead
in the wiggly  hope
it will live at least as long as there's a barbara or you or me
if not our dead and gone memories