Gratitude

Thanking God for prayers unanswered
should be a regular pilgrimage

daily thanks sent heavenward as well for
pleadings ignored, deals never made,
proposals not acknowledged, pleas not
granted, abstract make-a-wishful thinking,
and rejection from past potential dates

second guessing goes against my better
adult judgment, yet fits my quirky analytical
ways so thankfulness is sometimes a struggle

I guess thanks for discernment are in order

Meditative bombast

What I have inflicted on life and
its responsorials and reprisals
on me have proven that regrets
teach – if you do the homework

things, events once inexplicable
are simply lessons learned in an
evolving matriculation; tuition
deferred, knowledge incurred,
debits carried forward, erased

Unlike my youthful self
I am far less Dylanesque, unless
positively traveling Fourth Street

Such is life, such am I – and you?
in spite of failures and shortfalls,
perhaps because of them,
subsequent successes make me
realize it has all come so swiftly,
sweetly and simply by way of
perspiration born of desperation

and plain dumb luck

To be sure of life is to know that
failure equals inspiration,
while youthful triumph is just rote
mathematical miscalculation.

Success (survival) is startling news.

Here I stand, having purged the
regrets, how-comes and what-ifs;
sweetly savoring varietal
demons as muse.

Advancement

I eschew sex.

Firmly entrenched
in middle age
I have found the act
wanting, boring

the physicality dull,
unimaginative
old hat

Sex
has lost its interest
in me

shunning sex,
I have discovered
making love

It is the side effect of
experience
the residue of having
love, lost, found

I am the artist
who has traded Play Dough
for the potters wheel

To the east

Fresh sun
drips from above
low-hanging fruit;

a new day

awaits harvest from
the sagging branch of
an ancient black walnut

yawning, stretching
its limbs crackling,
groaning arthritic
objection
in the breeze

sitting in the shelter
of dawn, I mimic
the tree in awakening
agreement

Targeted

I was once a
New Year’s resolution

a young woman
I worked with at a
large hotel

greeted me passionately,
spontaneously, in the
grand lobby

flinging her arms
unannounced
around my neck,
first kiss of a new year

January first.

Our first kiss, and last
wouldn’t have been either

had that new year come
the previous October.

Prey

You cannot pursue
your epiphany

Elmer Fudd-like

True, wascally revelation is
cunning, coy, indiscriminate –
charmingly droll,
visceral with twinkling eye

To hunt your trophy epiphany,
to blindly stalk personal truth
is just taking a walk.

Truth – truth be told –
is far more cunning than you are
much more adept at being
the hunter than at being
the hunted.

The package

My mom found the dead chipmunk
I had brought home from the lake.

It was the end of the summer I was ten;
the stripe-tailed rodent had come home
at peace in a blue and black JC Penney
shoebox I said contained ‘stuff.’

He sure looked stuffed.

A car – or maybe Ivar’s Jeep – had run
him over on the driveway leading up to
Ivar and Lila’s house; caught him from
behind as he was running, flattened
his little chipmunk carcass out like a
bearskin run fit for the floor in front of
Barbie & Ken’s Alpine Chalet fireplace.

Absolutely flat, cookie-cutter perfect,
spread-eagle chipmunk silhouette.

I moved him with a stick to the cement
fringe of the garage slab and the sun
used July to tan his little hide

By the time my summer fling at the lake
had drawn to a close he was tanned stiff,
had no odor, was slipped into the box,
transported home in our big blue Plymouth
Fury dad had no idea was really a hearse
then got stuffed under my mausoleum bed,
forgotten about until mom’s cleaning binge
She called the Gilberg’s house, where I was
playing, ordering me to come right home
Mrs. Gilberg stifled a laugh as I left;
‘laughed long and hard’ she told me, many
years after, once I had gone out her door.

My mother had told her of the cleaning,
and of her dislike of urban paleontology.

I caught all sorts of hell when I got home
that day, but at least I never got my hide
tanned, and shoved into a box under a bed.

Fact

This may make you
sing laugh dance or cry
but the reality is
you will always be dead
much longer than you’ll
ever be alive.

Refraction

Looking in the mirror I see the
faces of a lifetime in midstream
sometimes it’s a group photo –
staged formality that doesn’t fit

there are candid shot mornings
and wide-angle shots that distort
while others crowd everyone
together but not everybody fits
in the frame but the picture
gets taken anyway.

Looking in the mirror I see the
faces of the me that were the me’s
that I have become, the somebodys
I still want to be someday

sometimes they come together
in the same shot and if were not
for the mesmerizing eyes
I wouldn’t recognize
a soul.

Concubine

My mistress is verisimilitude
a pliant robust and imminently
sensual lover.

Her knowledge of love,extensive,
welll used on the likes of me
and I have no complaints of how
she treats me nor she of I.

We talk we love, share passions
that can only be shared by kindred
souls who meet only on the sly