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Month: May 2015

The Frail

The Frail

So the pastor, the priest, the rabbi and imam.
They hold a certain package to their breasts,
bound with generations of blood, burnt flesh.

The package is similar, but the within,
now that is different. Each realizes
the other’s box is half full at best.

Nothing but centuries of wishes carved
into souls who poured their spirits out
as supplicants to heaven. For what?

In their souls, there’s nothing less:
the key to the universe, the unleashing
of eternal, infinite goodness.

Which makes the hollowness of lost souls
ring so much more deeply. They only wail
because God has left them frail, bereft.

#### Poet’s Notes ####

Photo of First Draft:

IMG_0490

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In a Previous Life

In a Previous Life

In a previous life, I was truly feared.
Walking the streets in a gray suit,
condiments staining a wide tie,
belly bouncing over a black belt.

They knew who I was, so they scattered,
like pests from steps of the pest remover.
Sometimes I couldn’t help but smile but
mostly I remained stolidly firm and stern.

When my mother died, I was alone.
I felt the life draining from my body.
Just dressing in the morning was a feat.
Making it to the office, Olympian.

So I quit and began to wear jeans.
Got my hair styled, began to smile.
Yet they still see me as the Tax Man,
though I was always hiding from them.

 

#### Poet’s Notes ####

(This became wrinkled in my work bag!)

Photo of First Draft:

In a previous life

 

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Geraniums

It arrives in the station soon enough
but leaves faster than I anticipate.
It doesn’t wait. Doesn’t stop to ask
where it might invest or peer over
at a lot that looks good for building.

No, it flies out of here as fast as it comes.
And I, the conductor, have seen it so often.
Yet continue to believe it will remain,
let me rest by the geraniums.
Just a little, until it begins to bend away.

 

#### Poet’s Notes ####

Photo of First Draft:

"Geraniums" Poem

“Geraniums” Poem

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Counterfeit

Counterfeit

The packaging is identical, down to the seal.
And the instructions, duplicated exactly.
Typed up verbatim by an illiterate.

And the pills have been made to look
the same. Only they contain baking soda
animal fat and sugar. And something else.

Customers purchasing online are not
aware these pills are fakes, sold by
unlicensed operators, often mafia.

They are desperate for these medicines,
will do anything to get them cheaply,
and they will get them. Expensively.

 

#### Poet’s Notes ####

Photo of First Draft:

Counterfeit

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Closed Forever

The sign hanging from the shop door
read “Closed Forever.” Frequently
I’d drop in, hooked by junk out front.

I didn’t need the plates or containers
but it was a steal. Until once, a day later,
I found entirely new merchandise.

Another racket! They could take their time
to “go out of business” but not with me.
Not another dollar from my wallet.

So I felt somewhat triumphant,
until this morning, when I stood outside.
I felt something lost and didn’t know why.

 

#### Poet’s Notes ####

Photo of First Draft:

 

Closed Forever

 

The store on Fulton Street in New York City:

IMG_0015

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