Every surface

Every surface, a cloak
Every face, a mask
He retires: “I just drink
my little beers and do some
cookin’, anything I feel like
‘cause that’s the kind of
good that don’t wear out”

She’s 60 now and man
she’s had a mean life
“If it wasn’t for my wife
I wouldn’t go to a party
When you’re with people they
take everything out of you”
The inexorable decline

of body and mind—
Old Heifetz stumbles around his
luxurious Malibu house and mumbles
to himself, “I don’t want to die,
I don’t want to die”
It was like an orienting goal,
a disorienting spin-around

Look at them as they
creep toward winter alone, lonely,
without shelter (one of them still
wears his tie and striped business shirt)
homeless, ragged, asleep on the floor in
this early Grand Central Station morning,
or on a subway bench or in the streets

“If you could just appreciate women
without always hankering after them”
The moral creed of slaves:
“Solitude, fasting, sexual abstinence”
What I think today resembles
but won’t be the same
as what I’ll think tomorrow

“For 27 years from September
to December, I put my armor on
and engaged in this brutal, relentless
game of football—I’m too old
to give it one more shot but
get me, I miss it, the banter, bustle,
the hits, the rage and I do wish

I still had it in me ”
If you really see the abyss
the abyss will really see you
Some men feel the sexual
attraction of women as some kind
of scorching, irritating twist
They assault women as if it is

There are more of them than
a reasonable person would guess
She’s older like me and now’s
content to play “earth mother”
to a crowd of young hounds
When young she’d never obsequiously
flatter obnoxious, bogus authorities

I have a daughter too
So I lent him the money
(a hundred bucks or so)
so he could “pay the rent
without embarrassment”
So his daughter could see a
guy who could make the rent

Idiots, she was hot like you when
young and had her fair share of lovers
“Don’t worry, I work construction”
Of course, his check bounced
and I never saw him again
When you’re poor you cheat—
you do that kind of thing

Up against his self-limits again,
his jaw is set too hard
He would confer benefits but is
ashamed if he has to receive them
“In any oppressive regime, no one
says what they mean and we never
know what our neighbors really think”




-October 28, 2017-