You kept swimming, though
long since blind. You stunned memoir
your amazing tale:
you ran with brother, away
from Warsaw Ghetto.
Lost him and
every single aunt
sister, family but
survived, only to succumb
to the Russians, who
made you a soldier against
your own, then
survived the brutal
winters in a labor camp,
escaping on a
log that, though
frozen, floated far
enough to you
to Istanbul where you made
to Eqgypt and fixed machines
tank soldiers until
you made it to the
in Italy. Fought, repaired
with them all
the way, then married
a Dutch Catholic.
Park So Young
invited me to
dinner at the fancy place
where the art
lady hung color
square stuff and
the food was almost as good
as the new faces, none more
alluring than yours.
We’ve stayed in
and out of touch, yet
rendez-vous, Kyoung Mi tagging
in quest of a mate,
but not you,
no, your face was not going
to be left alone. Age has
added luster, so
now you raise
your last child with a throng of
women, as is the
norm. so the culture
here is in
good hands. Let’s travel far some
time, as this
is your goal and my
pleasure. Bon Apetite!
Nurse by trade, who could
forget that we were
roommates in two completely
one good for nothing,
your home town. And you
hung in there with Mike,
saw Eddie get a
wake-up call, did all
the normal Gainesville
activities, and became
an important link
from hard past to an
relaxed study, and
ranged form big toes
hot new band to “new music,”
of rock to how Gators
everywhere know the
score, meet at
CJs, at least in their minds,
while you, who
thrive, do so with large
home field advantage.
learned from Ruth, who from Margaret
learned from Boaz at
of the discipline:
with giant spider: insect
pet that shocked guests as
they munched on colorful twang:
flowers we once thought
bouquets. They tasted
and this meal introduced me
to Jennifer, who
I lost to Mike, then found, but
made my worst
lifetime error with. Extend
your good taste in this
ten years too late. Your garden
still blooms, your sincere
love still felt by all.
You, so bright, so tight,
expected firm baked
as The New Yorker
You scored by twenty
nine, then had a great
the chops of
would-be poetry stars. So
I came back for more
after that little
Hollins. You were not
with Deborah, no
doubt around fabled
duck pond, the
scene of a
Robert Merrill visit. Aren’t
you glad I
suggested Donald Hall since
One day you will hold
back then Eberhardt, Justice
Harry Crews roamed. How’s
it hangin’ William?
the music genre
named by you to describe your
has no been
who have achieved at
least national bar tour fame.
It’s beyond unfair, yet a
result in any
creative endeavor: luck plays
a role, and absurd
May the luck
prove out in
ol’ St. Louis, and,
with the support you’ve enjoyed
at home, the force is always
with you: rock
on. Sorry to have tried, but
failed to be
the type of bassist
you are, but not much
and the memories of such
songs ring in ears too
New Ones above, Old Ones below
My New Club
The Metro hops with loveless punks.
Gangs form barriers to the lot,
Trapping fearful cars. Cold night
Suggests that once inside
There won’t be better shelter.
The same songs group together
While elitist taco-tenders pass judgement
On all who show their heads.
The new dance looks like monkees
In reverse: swinging arms and jabbing elbows.
All clubs have gays,
But here they do not seem outrageous.
College frat-boy outfits are more likely
To interrupt the flow.
(Girls let loose on fridays too.)
The ten by twenty foot window
Reveals that the gang is gone.
Even though the night warms up
With Volvos cruising merrily,
The beat in here insists on firm obedience.
Marble Bench at University and 1st
I walked downtown waiting
For my oil to change.
I ran into the watercolorist.
The same one I saw at the post office.
Other than a few artists
This town (the downtown part anyway)
Has nothing but bankers and weary workers.
Hard-working weary African Americans.
A student may wander down to a bank
And there are a few tellers.
Mostly there are hard-working African Americans:
Scuffed hardhats with dirty plaid pants.
Or thin corduroy coat, red and blue sweater
With Florsheim shoes and leather cap.
It’s awfully cold today, except for the artist
Who must be hanging a new show at the bank.
Maybe I will shock her and walk
Across to say hello. She’ll think she’s got a groupie.
She may even let me help her hang one or two,
It’s bound to be warmer than this marble bench.
Tragedy at Woodside
The Millhopper puffs
An ethereal mist into the night.
Insects forget the danger
And come on six point landings:
Secure at Dali Memorial.
Ants and uncles wait
Inside the terminal, protected
From the memory of fright.
Most are happy in art’s custody
But one takes off, quite unsatisfied.
Screams of horror beg
Her not to go, but youthful instincts
Coax her to greater heights.
She clears the creek heading over trees,
Landing lightly under Gala’s brush.
Eye-Level: Stack D, Library East
“Where is everybody?” asked the voyeur, not above suspicion.
“A mile beyond the moon” replied the Georgia boy.
“She was a billion dollar sure thing, not like other girls.
I wanted to take her down the thruway to Wonderland:
An encounter in Key West with the old man and the sea.
There is so little time in the lives of girls and women.”
“Life is life,” said the Georgia boy, “winner take nothing.”
“I heard the general zapped an angel,
Turned her into Kentucky ham, a real Roman holiday.”
“I have so little time (87 days) to find the crossroads
Out in mumbo jumbo. I’ll steal the smuggler’s bible
And find the sneaky people by following the curve of the snowflake.”
“Listen to the whispers of the player piano,
Take five smooth stones from Deep River,
Remember, sleep is for the rich, and don’t forget
The protocol for a kidnapping,” the mutant advised.
So off I went on a couch trip in search of a hero.
Across the river and into the trees,
Determined to be home before dark.
Suddenly, in the air, she appeared, the wine of life,
Sam’s legacy, a small success, exclaiming:
“While still we live, let no man write my epitaph!”
Pablo and Max
This is the story of Pablo and Max,
They left New York City to avoid income tax
And gather some primitive artifacts.
They left in the rain in spring ’52
And were seen in the fields with an African gnu
Admiring the shapes that came into view.
While Pablo was digging up red cube-like art,
Max drew some monsters on government charts.
(They looked like amoebas with elongated parts.)
The days were spent studying carvings of stone,
Or walking in jungles out on their own.
An artist knows how to survive alone.
Always popular with their new friends,
These two went about setting new trends.
They taught the natives how to pretend.
Unlike the scientists who went to steal,
The artists just borrowed that primitive feel.
A congenial arrangement, if not ideal.
Eagle Pond Farm
October in New Hampshire means colored leaves for kicking.
Donald kicks a few heading into town for cheese.
He notices that the antique dealer, once again, announced
The coming of winter by changing his sign. It now reads:
“Driveways Plowed, Reasonable Rates.” The type of
De-evolution Donald appreciates.
Standard time ensures contrast, as autumn’s last bonfire
Sends a leaf-shaped spark into the air.
A simple way of life is free to walk around without inspection:
So Donald does. He checks out of Najur’s General Store
With Gouda and N.Y. Sharp Cheddar tucked away.
He climbs up the knoll then down the driveway to the farm.
He kicks a pinecone to the safety of the woods.
He exhales steam that quickly disappears.
He can almost see ice forming on the pond.