Poetry: Boys Only

Jimmy and me, and his sister June,
all about the same age
of seven or eight were standing
in the alley behind my house.

On that day I did not know
that in seven or eight more years,
me and June would share the experience
of lost virginity, the one and only day
she did not spurn my teenage romantic advances.

We three friends were all shirtless and discussing
whatever pre-pubescent children talked about
in the 1950s, when the shrill voice of their aunt
Dorothy demanded June not remain shirtless.

June did not get a satisfactory answer to her ‘why?’
(did we ever?), only that girls don’t do topless.

I looked June over, brown hair to barefoot toes
and could see no reason but forced socialization
of such things was commonplace and
in some circles probably still is.

Jimmy and his aunt died years ago. June is
a great-grandmother and we don’t keep in touch.
That’s too bad. I wonder what June remembers.

Look both ways before removing your shirt in the alley behind my house.
Mind the gaps, not the nipples, and aunt Dorothy, too.

Poetry: Dog Poop

From my screened in back porch
I get to see the sun rise,
it’s better in fall and winter.

The neighbor’s yard is being watered
because it’s Tuesday and grass
will die in the heat, or the shade.

And I see people pass on the
sidewalk, across the field which needs
neither water nor mowed,

but it is mowed twice each year
and then persistently grows back
waist high and only
Mexican mowers walk on it.

Dogs walk people so they can
sniff, pee, and shit; and old people
pick up dog poop and tie their shoes

while they’re down there. Few
run or jog and the mockingbirds mock
purposefully and others mock back.

The dogs don’t care and
the cats aren’t there and
the mower would upset them

and the walkers walk, maybe
to stop and talk. It’s somebody’s birthday
before it gets too hot,
it’s a dogless walk day for me.

Eat healthy, exercise, walk the dog, and look both ways.
Mind the sidewalk gaps.

Poetry: August (Augustus)

Gaius Octavius Thurinus—
Augustus Caesar, got the hot one.
What a shitty deal.

I suck in August, I don’t want to face it.
The heat has gotten banal, too much sun,
too damn hot for the effort of having fun.

Into a whiny puss I turn, give me
the wonder of AC. Make three-digit days
go away. The days and nights just wrap

me into a victim swallowed by the fangs
of the most miserable month of the year.
The best thing about August is September
which is the ninth month, but means seventh.
All my favorite months
have wrong unimaginative
Latin number names.

As seasons transition look both ways and love it, if you can.
Mind the gaps. They may be a Roman mistake.

Poetry: Edible Confession

Did homework, still had questions.
I noted the downstairs medical dispensary
but took stairs up to the recreational second floor,
where a kind young man tried to not
embarrass me with age and ignorance.

As we chatted he looked over my license
to be sure this old man was over 21,
not some state guy hired to sneak past
and get them punished for not checking me out.
He directed me through an open door

into a room with two ATMs for cash,
(purchase is cash only)
a long glass counter like a jewelry case was
staffed by attractive young ladies (and men)
I like to call bud-istas, and behind them
more cases with low drawers full of products to sell.

Around the room more glass cases displayed
all forms of product, much that looked
identical to others but with different fun names
from the Indica and Sativa families:
Grape Ape, Obama Kush, Alaskan
Thunder Fuck, Dirty Girl and Berry White,
all with varied chemical content on signage.

It reminded me of brewery tap room menus
that display the ABV and IBU or SRM; only these
reflected the type and quality of cannabis so patrons
know what they will soon consume.

Unlike taprooms, off premise consumption
is a must. Then it was like going to confession
when one of the bud-estas smiled
and offered to help me figure it out.

Forgive me Sister for I have sinned. This is my first confession. I been booze drunk on my ass, said and done incredibly stupid shit, driven drunk, and picked bar fights I couldn’t win. I’ve sucked tobacco smoke from cigarettes, pipes, cigars; and chewed the leaves. I ignorantly supported foolish laws that prevented others from doing this. My greatest sin: I’ve never used pot in any form. Now humbled before you, I beg your advice and assistance. What is all this stuff?

She called an older male assistant,
closer to my age, to aid my ignorance.
Thirty minutes later I knew
what this marijuana stuff was:
THC, CBD, and all that.
(oils, vapers, creams, grinders, and papers)
Particularly the edibles.

He told me it would take over an hour
for the edible effects to top out,
like drinking a glass of wine, only
the buzz would last through the evening.

I now say it’s more like two glasses,
properly stoned at two hours,
and semi-hosed for the evening.
But cogently sociable. Namaste.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a state
with legal recreational ganja use, give it a go
if ya never have (unless yer a Fed, need CDL, or military).
But look both ways, bring cash, and smile for the camera.
Mind the gaps and do your homework.

Poetry: Kitchen Visits

Growing up, it was foreign land—
to me, yet, it was favored by all,
a magic kingdom of food and warmth,
a homework headquarters.

It had a coal stove for heat and
cooking. Mom (sometimes Dad) did laundry
there with a wringer machine filled and emptied by hose,
when new to the tribe, I was bathed in that sink,
perhaps after laundry and dishes were done.

Later in life it was (and still is) wife’s land.
Maybe it’s sexist, but barefoot in
the kitchen was her idea.
Actually, it was all her house
where we all lived. At home,
it was where the core of many lives
transpired—in the kitchen.
Meetings, parties, family dinners,
games and puzzles, some business.
It was our mother-ship’s headquarters.

When between jobs, I was given
the helm of house to navigate;
cooking, cleaning, laundry,
paying bills, and giving some homework
help. Dropping off, picking up,
taking to kid’s thingies. For a dad,
I believe I made a passable mom.

But the jury remains out.
Now those kids are gone
to their own kitchens,
it’s still the same in our lovely
(if mostly empty) nest. It’s her kitchen,
somewhere in the middle of
Texas. I don’t really
cook but would like to. I am the
dish washer, maybe replaced now
by a newer and quieter, a younger one
with fingerprint proof silver skin.

No man has ever been murdered
while doing the dishes.
Perhaps I
should be worried and observant,
or apply for the position of official
dishwasher loader and unloader.

It’s not my kitchen and it never will be.
Perhaps the laundry room?
Household poet laureate is a good job,
I eat well, and the beer is cold.

Look both ways, near and far.
There will always be gaps, in love and lust,
but in the kitchen, it’s Mom we trust.

That’s Not Bad

In the doctor’s office—
a computer, printer,
some chairs, and an exam
table we won’t use;
latex gloves, a biohazard
box, and two other waste cans;
a sink that may get used.
On the wall a framed art print.

Voices in the hall 20 minutes
after my appointed time, but it’s
okay. I can write this poem
and be glad I’m alive. Knock.

Two doctors walk in. My regular guy
and his knockout resident from
the A&M med school. We greet,
shake, talk small, then good news.

Return in six months. Shake again.
I drive home. Stop for gas.
I wear a smile—cuz good news.

Look both ways driving home, for good news and bad.
Check the tires and mind the gaps.
Doctors sure have changed over the years—for the mo’ betta’.

Poetry: Death by T-Rex

Come to me. Closer.
Stand before me, your naked
judgmental ass, as I hold
in my hand
this fine blood red wine,
and my 45 (or is it 9mm?)

And you tell me what?
I am old, too old?

When I pull this trigger
and the bullet leaves
the holey end of this
pistolla headed for
your ugly mug,

Will it matter
that you will never
see and never be
as old as I—better
not to been born at all.

And you will have died
(not that anyone will
give a fuck)
at the hand of an old
washed-up and worthless
poet fuck who, after
you cried and fell dead,

Turned and wrote a poem
about cappin’ your
nasty smelly ass—
arrogant mother fucker!
How dare you,
Call me a dinosaur?

Look both ways before calling the firing line clear.
Mind the gaps and old farts who write poems.