Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Try Forsaking Hope

Don't try self-improvement: try forsaking
Hope, attempt the sullen life of slackers,
Covering your dreams in quiet lacquers
With a penchant for discoloured flaking,
Answering the phone without quite waking;
Sell the quarter horses to the knackers
After getting money from your backers,
Hiding all the evidence of shaking.

Giving up the ghost? No, just the pleasures
Of a largely circumscribed existence.
New days coming? This futile insistence
On some forward-moving hunt for treasures
Only proves the need for drastic measures:
Sorrow's all you're seeing in the distance.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cheese Snaps

We ate a barrelful of broken bits
Of cookies, pretzel sticks, and candy bars,
Some of them hollow, some the shape of stars,
Along with nectarines, dried, free of pits,
And cheese snaps. When we exercised our wits
And made rude jokes about cheap snacks on Mars
Threats suddenly came up: the trunks of cars,
A bright school blazer — one that almost fits.

They bullied us, raked us over the coals,
Forgot the good, embraced the undertow
That whirled and sucked them helplessly below,
Complaining we had eaten all the rolls.
The three of us, good fellows and good souls,
We still remembered how to let things go.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Not My Style

This wasn't an example of my style,
A combination of intelligence
And sensitivity. For sevenpence
And something just a little like a smile
I'll show you: Say you take this rattail file
To work on pieces of broken faience
Once owned by persons of great eminence
Until they're fine antiques. This takes a while.

Then we have auctions, gifts, and private sales,
Where tax deductions are the currency,
Where all my wit and sensitivity
Are called on, and my project never fails.
Not this. This was a botch, a race of snails,
A funeral without a eulogy.