2013 25 June Four New Poems, Four old ones. THE LAST ENTRY for the book “Open Secrets” Copyright 2013, Doug Stuber


You started
work at fourteen and
knew the way
to charm romance, but
this runs in your family,

and being
youngest, normal rates
of absorption plus
very strong genetic lines
for handsome

made you both
the wild child and the
one with a
true responsible
streak that delivered a great

life once the
typical Naples
teen years had been leapt
over. Too many events
kept pulling

you back down
to earth, but here you are, a
man able
to stand on his own,
even if fighting

to surmount
mountains never seen at beach
parks, filling
stations, embraced
with love that comforts.


Dude, it’s my job to
be able to pluck the hard
moments, explain, extend some
relief, be
a best uncle. It

took this long
to face it, so how
dare I imagine how you
got through it? Onward
bench-press star,

to the loved-ones arms who must
be strong, who must be happy
to pull you
back, who, by now, no

matter her
name, is heroic.
Losing Tad was tough, but we
had years to practice
getting it

right. Your hard
time may be over, but in
those moments
when it flashes back,
that’s exactly when

leading your
strong life pays homage to those
who raised you.
Communicate, be
my friend again – Doug.


Do you now
what penultimate
means when a
project is seven
months long? In

this case, my pretty
friend, it means,
as I was telling Kurt, that
it took me
this long, (way over)

a year to
bravely step your way.
One heck of
a life we lead, and
one great job

you’ve done: sacrifice
is the word
smart people use to define
“mother” but
you got hit hard “post

facto,” thus
a one-two-three round punch-out
occurred. How
you survived this is less
important than what’s

new now. What’s
new now? Has all this loosened
once firm ties,
or encouraged more
love, stress-free bonding?


We met at sugar
Saudi owned (via Carlyle
Group) Dunkin
Donuts. You, a young

Gwangju Daehakyo
student, playing with
friends, me on
the last plot: a map
of the end of a

book. You’re it, Yu, Lim
Jeong, so here
is the short story I make
for you: in
high school, popular,

friendly, surrounded,
you majored (many
do) in love.
Being raised well, your
mother expected

great grades and
test scores to match excellent
and emotional
attributes. You failed,

but only
in that one way. Your “people
skills” will, and
have carried you. Light
the way for your friends.


New Ones Above, Old Ones Below


Pink Chang

Brave children, you don’t know how
Your starvation reflects unequal distribution
Of wealth. You don’t have the strength
To wonder how much your brothers have.
But now you have the town TV.

Brave parents, you know how much
We have; your experience says
The sardine boat trip is worth the risk.
Enslaved, but in the land of plenty,
Now you can see it for yourself.

Hard work yielded a living rain
Abided your ancient prayers. But
In this new place hard work can
Yield these luxuries if you have
The nerve to pull away from

Your enslaver. English helps.
Relatives in some far-off town
Help even more, so good
Luck in your American dream.
Welcome, as they say, to the machine.

10-Minute Break

After 30 years of following the wind,
Even one month of normal is too much.
How do people do the same thing every
Day for 30 years without going insane?

The same breakfast, coffee break, line work,
Betting pools, vacation, coffee break, typing,
Driving, dinner, TV, line work, breakfast.
How did you end up settling for this?

Regenerative adolescence never asked,
But also kept you out of the grave.
Your career track starts with filing and
Ends at data entry. An MBA is a waste of cash

When your TRW report still reads “radical.”
Just how many parameters must you comply
With to avoid being pigeon-holed?
You ought to be happy with any job.

That’s the problem: just because you
Do 60 hours of work in 40 doesn’t
Mean you’re dependable. You’re better off
Not thinking about it. Get to work. Get!


If there is a moment, when your sails of fortune luff
Remember that the warlords do not improve your life.
When your next payment outruns accounts received
Don’t cry down trod human, you will have enough.

Maybe not enough to stay where you are now, but more
Than those who tempted fate by building bigger bombs.
The children never stop to worry about their next meal,
But don’t cry down trod human, there is enough, and more.

Please crumple this philosophical pile of gibberish
The first chance you get. You work too hard to listen
To the ranting of the left. But when your choice to
Be free causes hunger in your gut, you will have enough.

Look, there are crying humans, and those who just don’t care,
And those who make themselves so rich from your efforts.
But then there are the bright-eyed kids, long hours tormented
By indecision followed by the warmth of an affair.

But don’t cry down trod human, the love you find is real.
You wouldn’t want to trade for cash your ability to feel.

Magnets Sonnet I

We sweat together like delicate chocolate.
The comfortable wrap of ancient money fails to
Freshen a purple Iris. “Would summer boil a
Luscious petal language?” “Only in Peru.”

We conglomerate with threads forgetting friends.
The furniture designer conspired with unknown
Budding chiropractors. “Does singing
Interrupt suburban plight? “Only in Italy.”

Let my moment whisper through the raw heaves.
The guard allows no images of love beyond
Revolving doors, demented. “Would Sitler
Score in time to save our fate?” “Only in Toronto.”

We conspire against the grind, inspiring unseen art.
The joker who still wears hats all year round
Inspires another line: no hate. “Does smelling
Take the place like food of touch?” “Only in Peru.”

We sweat together like delicate chocolate.
“Would summer boil a luscious petal language?”

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