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I thought

                1.
“He’s gay,” grandma scowls,
exasperation in her voice
A soprano in the day
she knew many and had nothing

against gay people
“Let’s just face it,
he’s gay”
She knew how tough

it was going to be for him
and besides, she sort of wanted great grandchildren
Funny in its timing though
this bit of grandmotherly insight

Because only the day before
he said, in answer to some dumb question
from me,  “Aren’t you guys
on to me yet?”

 

                2.

Those CEOs, bless ‘em,
they come, they go with similar
if not the same insane, wicked machinations
But Brody, Brody’s still here

doing those quiet rudimentary things,
the quintessential company man
You’d never guess how his skull
brims with virtual theaters

“Are these my father’s demons?”
No sir, Brody no,
you fight your own...
Autumn glistens clear and cold

That shark wasn’t hungry, Brody
That wasn’t her real bite
That was her exploratory bite
I know, because you’re still alive

 

                3.

A young guy...
He does some good
He does some bad
He gives what he has

He’ll get better at this
hopefully, by and by
So rich in her life
So generous in her gifts

You best let her be who she is
Everyday as I pass by his office
There he is in the morning
Crisp white shirt, bluish tie

suit jacket hung behind him
He leans forward, stares intently
into the computer screen
Types a few words and stares

 

                4.

Her long straight white hair
all down her back like a younger girl
Her dark, dark sunglasses hide a few
coarse wrinkles near her eyes

Her well-toned slinky stylishness
says all the while that she’s still got it
If, as you say, you have some heart left
I’ll take it for true, thinks Brody

A core of anxiousness
pervades their masterful play
“I can use that,” he’ll say later
“There’s something here that I can use”

“Don’t talk of the pain”
says the gruffest of the gruff
football coach
“Just show me the baby”

 

                5.

“Listen lady, you tell me how to play my axe?
Don’t you be telling me that”
He can’t stand those suburbanites
whose houses he sees from the tracks

their lock, in their heads,
on the good life and how he ought to live
When she had trouble getting pregnant
it seemed that every woman

she met was self-satisfied and pregnant
When he couldn’t find love
it seemed that everyone he met
was warmly attached, ensconced

and happily, vibrantly loved
Old now, the betrayer
reveals in her face the mess, the meanness,
the anger, beneath her old flare

 

                6.

Too ugly (he was kind of ugly, in a sweet
bear-like way, I admit)
Too liberal, too Italian
for all those white Protestants

down south and out west
They’ll never vote for him
Nope, not him, nor him—
too aggressive, too acid tongued

that bald Jew from Manhattan
They won’t hold up their hands for him
She won’t do either—
too ugly, too fat, too short, too Irish

Her bright red hair makes her look
like a clown (and did you see those shoes?)
Her high-pitched voice irritates everybody
Not in this town, not here, not now

 

                7.

I can capture just a bit of it,
just a bit...
I thought I saw
in some fog-like trance

It had to be my parents, holding hands
They walk in front of me
Their hair is gray, their clothes
old-fashioned, stylish

They seem so much in sympathy
as they walk hand in hand together
So much slower than when I knew them
But then they were younger than I am and

still vigorous,
still vital
their brilliance, their beauty
still living

 

 

-September 14, 2013-