Do it again

In the late sixties two luncheonettes
near one another wage a price war
One offers two eggs, toast, home-fries
and coffee, all for just 39 cents

Don’t misunderstand me,
that was cheap even then
Matt was sitting at the counter
and had just finished the two egg special

when the counter guy asked
“Will there be anything else, sir?”
To a teenager like Matt that was pretty funny
Sir? Really, Sir?

Matt looked at him and said
with his most severe face
“Do it again”
Since then whenever I’m dining out

I may ask my dining
companion after the meal is done
Shall I tell the waiter, when he comes,
to do it again?

Shall we do it again?

It was a day like most days
filled with vanished perceptions,
habits and routine
He saw narrower than us

but farther with all those
nerve endings of his exposed
Our judgment of the things we
care little for

is usually quite flawed,
mostly off
No, we didn’t always act
at our best

We weren’t always gracious,
kind or empathetic
Like a novelist who with
a few well wrought sentences

transports us to his world,
I don’t belong here
but I can do it
I can dress up and pretend

Let’s do it again

Not too far beneath
we all have something awfully
sad in our lives, something
we’d rather not discuss

When he died Marge told me
Mike left quite a few books
and, knowing my love of books,
kindly asked if I wanted to come

look them over and
maybe take a few for myself
No thank you, Marge
Though you’re so kind,

I can’t do that— I can’t bear
just now, to look at his books
We call them “skyscrapers”
The French word for them means

literally “sky scratchers”
They don’t think we scrape
the skies with our buildings;
we scratch them

Shall we do it again? 

If you know what time it is
and you can see the sun
where in the sky it is
then, like Gene, who knew about

these things, you might have
a pretty good idea of where
you are and where you’re headed
If you taste a superior wine

each sip encourages the next
and no sip fully satisfies
like a happiness that’s felt
just once in a lifetime

With a lesser wine
each sip diminishes the next
A sage-like saying is
“To know all is to forgive all”

But that’s wrong
I know all about your whys
and whens and, my dear lady,
I don’t know how to forgive you

Let’s do it again

It would be smarter if
we’d never speak of ourselves
to others because that’s a subject
upon which we can be sure

their views are never in
accordance with our own
Steve, a photograph lacks dignity
until it’s no longer

a pale reproduction of reality
but invokes for us instead, things
dear to us that no longer exist—
as I’m sure you must agree

It was not quite lying though
she knew what she said was wrong
She doesn’t say it to deceive
It’s really what she feels and thinks

Like the chef’s anticipation in a
dinner prepared for no-show guests
who forget, it’s not who or what she
loves, it’s that she loved, that matters

Shall we do it again?

Our Neanderthal ancestors
their stocky, powerful builds
made them impressive hunters
of huge, ferocious, wild game

Our real affections are repaid
The rest are all bogus
When we observe we are
far below the level attained

when we create
That damn fool he waited longingly for
her answers which when they came
were generally bland and meaningless

Mom screamed as his tongue
started to curl and his eyes began
to roll to the back of his head

as he started to seizure “Arthur!!!”
He heard her and by some great miracle his
tongue slowly uncurled and, sick as he was,
he opened his eyes just for her

Let’s do it again





-February 20, 2016-