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Chunks of time

Cars like clutter angle like sharks
along our roadways—their dagger-like
movements constant—but where,
where the hell do we go?
Our god is a mad doorkeeper who
with godly might forces or holds a
recalcitrant sliding door open or shut,

as it springs open one way or may close
the next—the mad determined doorkeeper
who strains to let the door stop you or
facilitate you, hinder you or welcome you in
My friend Ruth, she’s the most powerful
woman I know and it’s not misogyny to
dislike her, assuming you don’t like her

This party of old friends and acquaintances
inhabits dark chunks of time like the
bitterness of one who knows that no
matter what they say or do they won’t
be taken seriously—like a polished piece of
work without commercial core or popularity
If I were muscled more would she want me?

If you used to worry then you’ll
worry now even though you’ve retired
and your commercial doings in
this world have ended
“Sol really loved real estate” said
his wife of 50 years—Did he now,
did he really? Well, she should know

Howard descended into prison—
no fresh air, no freedom, no
friendly touches in there for him
What you can’t get over you
assimilate like a deep seated
corruption that permeates
our public life—like a parody

that goes on long after
its target is dead
(like that foolish thick
Irish brogue of the parody
archbishop who spouts outrageous
obscenities while pretending
to be pious) because maybe

that’s funny on its own or because
it tickles our nostalgia bone that
such a hypocrite did once exist and
we still enjoy spitefully laughing at him
Religion doesn’t salve our suffering,
it just seeks to put it in context as if
meaning in pain alone is enough

He went to the top of the precipice
and could barely stare down for
fear of a jump or a fall
Should he lose his mobile phone
he’ll give up his comfort zone
If you live long enough you’ll turn
(if that was your mode)

from someone who took care
of everyone to a burdensome
someone who’s taken care of
Across from the museum is a hotel
whose every room has these ugly
off-white curtains to guard against the sun
The world has always been

amoral and predatory
like a madman with a crowbar
on the subway who bashes a garbage
can loud, bashes it and bashes it so
you’d better get out of the way
before he bashes you
Fathers and mothers traipse

into age—What kept Beethoven
composing after his many triumphs?
“I like music that lulls me” he purportedly
said—and on a visceral level, I get it
Gramps’ heart medication made him
dopey, his poor circulation made
his hands bluish and puffy

Time crashes in extravagant, significant
chunks—we accumulate stuff and the
stuff can’t tell us enough about what
we accumulate—small acts of kindness
may still lace our days—relationships so
fragile, fractured, mercurial and short—
All of our relationships are fragile

 

 

-June 5, 2018-