There’s a place

There’s a place where some of us go
Some call it the “zone”
others the “endless river”
He was a master painter but that
wasn’t enough—he became a master
sculptor as well

We yearn for the symbiotic,
the “not us” that we always need
Like the thinness between the must
and the parasitic
Like the sharpness, the toughness, the resilience,
like the gnawing in my heart

It’s an accident, this life
What if I had to eke out my living instead?
Would I scrounge from the tourists on the beach,
sell them cigarettes ($10 a pack), Cuban cigars,
small trinkets, or beg and sing to them, or sell them
marijuana or small sacks of real Jamaican coffee?

It ain’t all right if the beach ain’t raked
My job is to rake the beach
My skeleton will press in upon itself
bone upon bone— the old crone parody
like a thin wrinkled monster,
with her squats and heavy shoulder weights

It’s an old fashioned place with metal keys
and metal locks
She’s a conductor who starts the orchestra
and abruptly stops them
“No, no, no this is all wrong— start again”
because she hates what she hears

Like a hunted deer, like a bear in his cave,
like a duck who can no longer fly,
she carries her walking stick
to the river’s edge
Gradually his memory of her will fade,
he thought, and he won’t think of her again

You can’t just play the notes, damn it
or recite the words as you were taught
If you make it look like it matters
but can’t get behind the words
or under the notes
you’ll never get there
It’s a matter of kinetics
Even in a picture that just suggests
movement—her way of moving
moves me to the sexual,
the give and take of natural lust,
so erotic and so sensual

His actor friend, the one with visions
of Shakespearean epiphanies in his head,
is often hired to do advertisements
When he first had to meet with a
marketing suit, he held his head up nobly
and thought he might vomit

Gene R never met a funeral she didn’t like
If she just barely knew you,
you poor deceased bastard, or anyone who
knew you, never fear, Gene R was there
The saint was a big man
The artist painted him in red

Dad started to cry
when he saw the hospital bills
So sick and now this
Though his feet touched the ground
the saint is elevated and well
on his way to heaven

She sometimes gives the impression
of one not understood and injured
“We have a problem,” Marge wrote
She meant Mike had a stroke
My brother ignores my work
and I ignore his

Relationships are fragile—
Remember that guy who smoked
in the doorway?
Unthinking darkness
He leaves his blue bag on the subway
Realizes it right away

Ascends the stairs to report his loss
Maybe they’ll find it
The stairs are endless
He ascends and he ascends, he climbs
and he climbs, until the blue sky and a
sharp cramp in his leg wake him up



-October 31, 2015-