Poetry: Twilighting Verse

Day was turning to dusk,
soon to be twilight,
and a lovely sight, one my
muse would give me clues
to a perfect poem, this
sight to be the meter
of my metaphor
for the twilight of humanity,
but it was not to be.

Going to the pool
to swim my hour, to do
aerobic huffing and
puffing, to get my
workout, after a day
putzing while working
around the house,
the garage mostly.

Sometimes, even as poets,
the best we can do is to say,
“Yes, I was there, I saw that,
and it was beautiful.”

Then I jumped
into the pool and swam.
‘twas a clear dark night
when I got out.

Apparently, my muse
can’t swim and retired
early that evening,

Leaving me even
as twilight comes and goes,
to be a verseless but happy
semi-healthy poet.

Swim both ways to lap away the twilight looks.
Mind the gaps as we seek piquing peeks.

Sammi’s Weekender: hubris


Does hubris feed my ego? Is it the other way around, where my pride has need of honor and glory? Are the two without peer? Tell me please, the middle aged or old, has-been American male; and what of truth? When did somewhere in the middle cast the shadow of failure? When did wealth become honor, dishonor become firebrand, and fact become fiction?

Can I stand naked and alone, on my own merits and feel sufficiently honored in my own skin? Do I need groupie demagoguery to feel satiated at my needy soul?

Look both ways to see the approaching train-wreck.
Mind the gaps and seek the truth.

 

Poetry: Makin’ My Bed

Retired me. Who cares?
Nothing left to lose.
But I make my bed
almost every day, if I so choose.
That means something,
but I have no idea what or why.

On most days, that’s a lie cuz,
for five decades,
Yolonda did
but when she don’t,
I do
if I can get there
first and I wonder why.

I look at the sheets, covers, and depending
on the time of year, the top bed spread
searching for signs of how I slept that night.
I mean. Who cares? Right?

The pillow goes to the floor, I press a button
to flatten the mat before the sheet is pulled
to the tight top where
it is — only when made.
Like a surgeon
I begin the art
of vanishing lumps and wrinkles.

The Air Force gave me Army lessons
on how to make my bed,
more like a bunk or cot.

Rudely rousted at reveille with
bright lights and loud
everything to fall out into
the dark of early morning
in a few minutes for roll call.

At 18, mom’s boy had to be
all bright and spiffy,
a sharp troop at Dress right,
DRESS, attentive eyes FRONT.
A bed made so tight
two-bits bounced a foot
or gigged in for the weekend,
shining brogans, boots, buttons, and brass.
Our racks trashed.

Who cares? Right? I did then.
I look at my bed now,
no olive drab green wool blanket,
tightly tucked with
no fake pillow
too small for a human head,
no quarter to bounce.

Retired but bed made.
No gigs. Weekends free, still. A made
bed is work of art, a memory,
and if nothing else,
it’s ready for me at the end of this day.

Play Retreat first, then Taps, sleep well,
final Reveille sounds early.

***

Both ways begin with dreams at night,
in the morning it’s high and tight.
Look both ways.
Mind the gaps and the gigs. FALL OUT!


Gig is military slang for demerit. Gigged in means restricted to barracks due to excessive demerits. “Gig ‘em, Aggies!” is not the same gig.

Poetry: Up Your Rolex

You know who you are,
driving fast and weaving past
in your European model automobile
costing four to ten times
the worth of my car. I am so
sorry to have used your
private interstate highway

And set my cruise control
a mere smidgen over
the legal speed limit of eighty
fucking statute miles an hour.

I was foolish indeed,
to humbly assume such speed
would suffice to get you
to your Sunday morning
emergency appointment.

Trucks once had their speed limits
for safety. But, no longer. Perhaps
you can have limits removed
for drivers of a Beamer, Audi,
Benz, or a Lex.

Maybe even
your own lane forbidden
to the minions who believe
their thirty-dollar Timex
is as good with time
as your uptown Rolex.

My foolish economy has jaded
my vision since I struggled
to see life your way.

And finally, begging your pardon
one last time.
Fuck you, asshole.

***

Look both ways, these wankers pass on both sides.
Mind the gaps, they’re filled by saps.

Poetry Report: November Poems + Ann’s

I’ve written that the best thing about August is September. Not this year. September brought several personally stressful events into my normally complacent private world. October was a month for healing and action. Gradually, recovery unfolded as those things apparently changed to my favor thanks to the efforts of a few loving people.

I did not win the lottery, but I began to relax. November was the best of the three months—not exactly perfect, but the worries from two months earlier seemed controlled. I’ll take it.

Thanksgiving Day is the traditional time our immediate family gathers. It is our time. Indeed, we had a house full, but I put in my notice for next year. We’re too old for that shit. It was fun and we are all grateful for how things have turned out so far. But there are people out there trying to make a living fixin’ turkey, giblet gravy, cranberry whatever, and all that stuff. I should help.

This poem was written about me writing a poem each day by a friend from my writers’ group. After Ann, who I like to call Barbara Ann (not her real name – long story: Ba ba ba ba Barbara Ann and the Beach Boys), read it during one of our poetry sessions. I requested, and she gave me, permission to post it here.

One Poem A Day?
By Ann Bordelon

“A poem a day?” That’s quite a task!
I say that’s wa-a-a-a-ay too much to ask.
One a week might be realistic,
But one a day is too optimistic.
They don’t have to rhyme, you say,
But still, one every single day?
There aren’t that many words in my brain,
I’ll run out in a month, what a strain.
Please tell me that this is a sort of a joke
And the reality is that you misspoke.
Instead of “one poem a day” you meant,
“One poem a week is what we should invent.”

Thanks, Ann. Wonderful poem. I’m honored.

I don’t know if I could cut back to less than one poem a day, much less to one a week. On this coming New Year’s Eve, I will complete my mission of composing at least one poem each day during 2019. After that, who knows?

The titles/topics of the daily poems I wrote during November were:

  1. Dying Dignity
  2. Ineffable
  3. First Reading
  4. Finding Treasure
  5. Poets are Dying
  6. Editing
  7. Don’t Bite Me
  8. Natural Brutality
  9. Liminal
  10. Some Cussing Required
  11. Precious and Rare Days
  12. To PC or not to PC, a Question
  13. Thoughts
  14. Imagined Solutions
  15. Muse Berries
  16. Draconian
  17. Up Your Rolex
  18. My Colorado Morning
  19. Extraordinary Knowing
  20. Lie to Me
  21. Dear Deer
  22. The Gap is Gray
  23. I Hear You Died
  24. The Final Week
  25. My Twilight Swim
  26. Ignorance is not Bliss
  27. Expectations
  28. Cowboys 2.0
  29. Body Gremlins
  30. Morphology

As we enter the last month of the year, I look both ways—to future months
as I wonder what’s next with a curious fantasy about the advent
of a new time and age. I think about past months
with more satisfaction than I’m entitled.
I shall mind the gaps in my life, one day at a time.

Poetry: Figured It Out

He poured the sugared and evaporated
milk-creamed coffee over the side
of his cup into the saucer below,
where it cooled. His eyes rolled back
as he took a long, slow, hot drag
from the short, burning white cigarette,
I could see the pleasure on his face
as he derived joy from the smoke.
Then he picked up the saucer and slurped,
like the king of his court. This was the norm.

I was too young to know how we,
as a family, were so totally dependent
upon that old man, that coalminer with a bad
back and a temper to match. I figured
it out. He did too. In the end,

it was just the end.

Look both ways but accept reality.
Mind the gaps,
but let not foolish wishfulness lead to wrongful discernment.