Friday, April 24, 2015

That Dreaded Question

You were the cool
but eminently approachable
dark-haired ambidextrous biker gal
at my now-ex-girlfriend's birthday dinner
that sublime July night
of moderate heat
at Christopher's in Porter Square.

Nursing a ginger ale
or some such drink of dampened effervescence,
you made bold to ask me
That Dreaded Question.
"So! What do you do?"

Intuitively I knew
you were a woman
of capacious sympathy
and of generous understanding.
Therefore, I answered candidly:
"I'm a poet and a curmudgeon
and a sluggard."

Your smile (oh, bless├Ęd soul!)
was warmer than a kiss.
You raised your glass
in gladsome salute:
"Dude! More power to you! Cheers!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Scollay Square Sonnet

O lovely cocktail-mixer without rival,
Concocting Rob Roys at the Bowdoin Bar!
Quick wit and lively smile, my tart-tongued star,
Friend to the lonely, thirsty, quirky, idle:

Bellissima signorina! well-versed at
Rebuking Sapphic suitors, lustful drunks:
Queen of the shot-glass, Absolut autocrat
Chatting with poets, mailmen, jocks, failed monks:

My Beatrice in knee-high boots, my joy!
Good Catholic girl, tough as a brass knuckle
(Accent pure Boston, seen-it-all brown eyes):

Pardon the glib praise of a gray-haired boy
With beer-gut held fast by a strained belt-buckle,
And dim sight dazzled by your bright surprise!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tenth Letter to a Poet

Rays of sun fan out,
breaking to brilliance from beneath
gray-blue masses of cloud in a sky
like an evangelical photograph
of uplifting intent.

Underneath the nimbus,
one can almost discern
an italicized verse
from the 23rd Psalm!

I drink instant coffee
and wonder if my prayers
(while I stand or sit,
while I kneel or lie down)
are case-sensitive passwords
dependent on my posture
for their acceptability.

No, I suspect that even when they're careless,
sloppily presented,
articulated crudely or in haste,
Someone gets them, hears them,
and approves.

first draft 2012
revised 2015

68th Letter to a Poet

Awake till three, I tried reading Allen Ginsberg but overdosed on his naughty-boy language: baldpate sophomore. I nodded off to TV jaz...