April 26, 2013 Five New Ones and Five Old Ones,Copyright 2013 Doug Stuber

MH

Banana pudding
shows up as a solo act
on a stool at Club
five-Oh-six,
drinking, laughing. No

longer twisted by
what was one of the
notable break-ups
in that it was so
personal, yet the

band held together.
Beehive-professional, she

garnered equipment
knowledge from
her brother’s bassist,

but never could or
would blow the time to
figure the guy (me)
out. So surrounded
by musical clowns,

those who could
and could not stand the rigors
of shit gigs
in order to get
even one Geffen

CD deal.
But SCOTS is forever. She
met him at
a Butthole Surfers
show, quit school, voila.

JH

Oh how could
you remember all
the words to the three hundred
songs we chose
from? In no way a

one-nut, but
mixed nuts can of love,
available to
any woman who so much
as glanced your

way. Oh how
we young men admired
your ability, only
out-gunned by
Charles, in the business,

ever so
delicate, of kind
serial one-night
de-flowerings. If you’ve been
settled down,

do not let
her read this. It is you gift
of singing
that matters. So few
are lucky with this

instrument.
Fewer still form the right band
that catches
on. It’s now a “Psy”
world, with dancing girls.

Virginia Decker

She was the
consummate hostess,
usually to cats and the
occasional
scallywag, but not

to be messed
with, a true friend to
all, and anti-war
activist, and late-in-life
lover of

my third eye,
third oldest friend, and
man of letters whose heart got
the best of
his formidable

brain power.
Oh she could drink back
in the day, dance and
sing all night, keep odd hours and
almost not

care who cared.
onetime she painted her house
and we all
would have lost bets on
that happening. Where

are her type
of neighborhood nurses now?
How can we
raise our children to
share the way she did?

RG

Peace corps professor,
one of a handful
of Mikooks here in
Gwangju in
the early eighties, he must

have fallen in love,
been able
to convince her the wonders of
the Shenandoah
Valley were

worthy of a move,
raised two daughters and
remained a baseball
fan, even
if saddled with the Twins. His

thesis was brave: John
Ashberry
no less. I desperately
want to read the type
of poems

this poster-
man writes, but perhaps he does
not write them,
he devours and then
analyzes them,

comparing
his theories with others, the
perfect choice,
academic-of-
the-year, and happy.

CJA

Youngest of eight, not
surprisingly Latin, but
acting the part of
charmed American high school
romantic well past your teen

years, your heart,
full of music and
movies, great ideas, and
now one of
the top three fathers

in Durham, if not
North Carolina, you gave
up your shot for a
while, but it’s time to regain
your place amongst unchained

creators.
Your back burner done
burnt the pot through, starting a
fire in your
brain that no hose can

put out. Much
more of this self-denial
could be the
cause of permanent
lackadaisical

apathy.
Huh? You? No longer giving
A rat’s ass
About your own voice?
Please sat it ain’t so!

><><><><><><

New Ones above, Old Ones Below

><><><><><><

When facing the loss
of job, home,
family, each word
uttered counts
on spiritual levels.

Save others,
mend yourself later.
Use time once wasted hurting
your lost love to grow
a new heart.

Admit to errors,
but do not
give up everything
just to save
a life full of misery.

Reach out to
friends, give yourself a
pat on the back. Stop tears by
finding new outlets
for your love.

Keep anger
away from your children, but
speak to them
about challenges.
they will help solve them.

Hard work can
solve problems, save love, retain
some aspects
to ease transition.
Keep children happy.

Gentle Handler

Lowell hands out cameras to women whose
insanity banished them to a shelter few visit.*
Lo and behold, instamatic masterpieces, a snapshot
never meant so much, as the ladies chronicle their
neighborhood, put their stamp on it, and smile genuinely,
as if they were part of the mainstream. By giving
in to their sadness, anger, frustration, these creative
humans have survived outside society’s box, but for too
long jailed as a means of keeping them from reminding
worker bees that everything is not hunky-dory
for everyone. Unleashed, freed of their routines,
their normal impulse to interact is rekindled, as the
first five sentences are script from the project, not who
ran away leaving mother-and-child to fend for themselves.

Staunch Cedar
encircled by vines
continues up though
frail, thin-boughed,
dwarfed yet resplendent.

Winter sun
illuminates triangular
patch for two
herons fly
minutes before clouds.

Poplar whip
sprouts canopy
in January.
Bright autumn
brown remains aloft.

Ten pines sport
pink chop ribbons, so our Cedar
will be rid
of her fierce
old competitor.

But will the
logging crew spare the creature?
Her trunk is
less than ten inches
from tomorrow’s saw.

New spot-lit
needles oscillate light as
if controlled
by adolescent
prankster Koalas.

Cactus Mints

“Don’t cry because it’s over, be happy that it happened.”
(Be happy that is was once good, or that it ended?)
If pushed, or by your own courageous design, you take
a month off and find stress level relieved by fifty
percent or more, the trick is to keep that level when
she returns. Tip: keep your mouth shut, attend to
every detail even if your mate won’t notice: the clean
tile grout in the upper reaches of the shower stall.
Resist looking at, or introducing yourself to the Asian
Claire Danes-alike when she walks slowly into and
out of view. Allow cold concrete to freeze your ass
and smile as her lateness becomes an absence. This
fleeting annoyance provides the impetus to continue your
series of lecture/inspiration poems; though not as polished
as Beop Jeong, they may one day be read by a kindred bereft
lonely-heart. One clot or another passes through your left
lung while dancing at Bubble Bar. This causes a momentary
scrunched face look that some wild woman in a Budweiser shirt
actually notices. Then your shoulder’s tapped by JY, the long
lost gift-giving friend. She’s happy now. Hey wait, so are you!

><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><

Can lavender push aroma past these troubles to reach

olfactory solutions where bullets make none?  Are cherries

enough food to alleviate starvation in North Korea?  Can

back rubs cure mutual distrust between the haves and

the have-nots?  Is a visit to a Chagall able to change

a despot into  Gandhi?  Can jokes, good jokes, turn

an angry mob into farmers?  Can cello lessons raise a

child who never hates anyone, nor raises his voice to his

children, nor cheats a business partner, nor backs his own

country’s wars?  Can printing on the back sides of already

misused one-sided documents make love?  Can banning the

movement of goods allow laborers to prosper thought they

rarely have?  Can grandmother’s advice or cooking or tireless

work inspire her family to embrace endeavors that lead

to success?  Can fresh voices create the basis for the next

“revolution form below?” Can cooking pans drying after

use and washing cause the next user to write an economic

solution that is fair to all?  Can your next hair cut provide

the fresh impetus to finally ask her directly?  Can green,

ever-present, inspire us to slow down and save the earth?

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