6 May 2013, Four New Poems, Four Old Ones, Copyright Doug Stuber


Paisley flop
hat as urinal
put me in my place,
solidified my spot at
the bottom of the

social food
chain, though as a large
minnow. You helped me learn how
to fend for myself.
Later I

hoisted Kim
as an attempted to
gain further favor in the
hip crowd, but it came when you
and I parted schools.

gave a chance to be
tight, but Macy and the jock
Marblehead clique ruled
so we slunk

to far ends,
opposite sides, and made peace
via herbs
and log cabins, self
generated food,

existence, or continued
battles fought
on behalf of friends
and strangers in need

Roy Buchanan

First you invited us to
have a beer in your
van, then you
offered back stage fun
by the lake in Syracuse.

The DBs,
then you, Little Feat:
a legendary
show because it changed
my life. Oh, but I still cry

about yours. What the hell made
it impossible
for you to
resist whatever
recreational was in

front of you,
or bar fights? You home
town of Reston police
finally had enough, too
much, but how did this lead such

a gifted
guitarist to end it all?
Or did you
have it ended for
you? I switched the guilt

I felt to
a story in my favor.
I still pray
our short time as friends
was good for you too.


You dove in and swam
all the way to under the
raft under water. The same
raft that saw
water and adult

games. It had
a three-step ladder
to a platform you
jumped off, onto trampoline
then into cool clear

water back when out
beat in, before cell phones took
nature away from most kids.
You still go
Camping, enjoy your

From over the hill.
On one night, with one
Chance I decided not to
Ask. Lucky for you,

Maybe not
for me. How could I resist
you? I knew
I’d never be the
mature one: not a church

goer. A
good match? Well I haven’t been
a good match
for anyone yet:
there’s your clue cute Pam.

R “H” R

You went with
Joy to the beat of
the Bedford/Lynchburg crowd and
asked if I had done
right by my

vote once. So close yet
so far. A one-hour
drive I made
one time before we
both knew philosophical

made socializing
too hard to try. I hope those
nuclear fuels
for U.S.

submarines kept
your family in
good stead at
church, well fed, happy
and adept at change because

change will come.
Church-sponsored war is bound to
end at some
point, but, as a friend
I pray this happens

long after
our working days are over.
If this finds
you, let’s reunite,
cook out, talk sports, love.


New Ones above, Old Ones below



We’re off to ladder-day playground, three days of bliss, but
can bliss be made over the ghosts of 1948? We’re not even
ashore and visions of Navy ships landing blood-thirsty
policemen already dance over our slightly innocent vacation.
Five-hour boat ride provides re-acquaintance, so I ask
questions as if it was our first date. When and how tower
over why, as I work to coax our brains away from the day-to-day
and into a place where bodily delights can shine naked, unbridled.
Spring water, goofy stone statues, like the Disney version of Easter
Island, orange chocolates, unique cakes, scraggly crags, and
one vast ocean await. Someone drew a round-headed lady with short
hair on the back of a seat. Yobo holds my hand, signs an email
“Your Lover,” and cares so well for Little Bear when he’s sick
or yelling out for Big Bear in his sleep. Thirty thousand ghosts
take vacation, allowing beauty, peace, birds and humans to mingle
on this rock paradise. We stroll, climb, swat mosquitoes, laughing
about the one Little James got, his first kill. But that brings ghosts
back to your mind, unfairness, how lucky you are. Ah, how lucky
to be safe, happy, soaked in love, a strange love, parental, spurts
of closeness, but mostly responsible, efficient, providing protection.

The Spirit Within

Even when your life grinds down to bus stops, floating from one
job to the next, so full of required tasks that you become constipated,
that you relieve yourself right in the middle of a class being taught at
the house of a nice doctor, that you barely have the strength to play
Legos for twenty minutes before falling asleep right there on the floor,
that your dead love life isn’t even mourned anymore, comes this magic
moment of goodness, the smile from the three-year-old, the woman who
nods as she takes your offered seat on the 54, heading from northwest
to southeast, the shaking branch of the familiar sycamore, the thousands
of women who walk by, the noise of bouncing balls, dribbled home at
one thirty in the morning, waking you up, but part of that same natural
feeling that makes you aware again of the force that glues us together.

Even when your money dries up, and your house, and your dreams, and
your spouse, and the bus driver yanks around a corner, slams to his stops,
sending all but the strongest flying around, and your father got old, and your
family is dying, and the jobs aren’t enough, and your child is hungry, and
the gig is up, and there is not time left for pizza or beer, and the cute roller
skaters all disappear, this magic comes through in the shape of a squirrel,
or six walnuts handed to you by some new Buddhist, or a piece of cake made
of coffee and almonds gets handed across the old kitchen table, with love.

BB #25 Flight 959 Narita – Incheon

Today Takae, and her friend Ban came to Chiba
to greet us in English. She, wearing a small pork-pie hat,
he dressed very preppy, very sharp, with two kids in college.
A wagon train of sushi flew by in Su Jeong’s restaurant
of choice; coffee conversations continued as fashionable
suburbanites took in the sun on the last day of Golden Week.
We promised to help Takae escape winter, Ban to a home-stay
in Gwangju, and a chance for the village to grow. You know,
the village of survival and happiness. The localized village,
self-sustaining through hard work. Takae quietly interrupted to
say “I’m not satisfied,” which was more than a small scream
for companionship. Maybe she was wildly disappointed,
then hopeful as she met Park, then she was offered a travel
mate to Istanbul. Has this small moment finally leap-frogged
a decades-old dream into the realm of possibility? Will we be
part of this village together, rather than at odds with each other?
Park went out and found a Korean lady working at the Chiba
Art Museum, and wow, maybe she’ll tap that flow, and then,
maybe, with some experiential evidence, she will trust a
future made of friends working together at Cedar Park.

Proxy War Two?

The symmetry of sweatery
connects past and presentry
as communists dig in for war.

Bounce changes to fear
once it is clear
apocalypse knocks at the door.

The north has provoked
and otherwise stoked
a new chance for annihilation.

It’s been sixty years
since the last round of tears:
outside Pyongyang, deprivation.

Korean wave flattens
just send whiskey and satin
and watch the dirty deeds mount.

Defense spending triples
Seoul sucks on the nipple,
What is the latest death count?

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