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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

1988

Tracy Chapman's music was everywhere.
Life at nineteen! Electric with poetry!
I worked at David's Cookies in Harvard Square

with Becca, Melvin, Mark, Jodi, and Claire.
I read Hart Crane's great paeans to the sea.
Tracy Chapman's music was everywhere.

Women, from east and west, both dark and fair,
were much too lovely for the likes of me
working at David's Cookies in Harvard Square.

William J. Barnum, with his long white hair,
carol'd the cockatoo most mellifluously!
Tracy Chapman's music was everywhere.

Of Spencer and Katharine I became aware
through sleepless nights in front of the TV
after ice-cream and cookies in Harvard Square.

Morrissey began his solo career.
I drove Dad's Cadillac quite cautiously.
Tracy Chapman's music was everywhere.

September came. I breathed the warm dry air
of California. Oh, what joy to be
far from David's Cookies and Harvard Square!

Not yet in college, working for a year,
I earned six bucks an hour, gratefully,
and Tracy Chapman's music was everywhere
from Santa Monica to Harvard Square.

Without You

Without you, life's a hole without a sock, A fruitless rind, some coffee-grounds (no brew): Sarcastic stars can only jeer and mock. ...