Bio Note: I have two poetry collections published in the last century from New Rivers Press, a recent collection of poems, At the End of the War, (Kelsay Books, 2018), and another is in production from Is A Rose Press, a collection of poetic adaptations of Kenneth Rexroth’s 100 Poems from the Chinese. These poems seem to reflect monologues I'm having with any reader who might wonder why in heaven's name have I written such dark, talking poems.
The ride has always been something else, seldom Something not, sometimes provocative, but really, Some of the bones and bruises are starting to push Through, and as expected, the brain is probably Shrinking, but thank heavens I didn’t reserve a Plated box lowered down far enough from wolves And hungry bears. The snow isn’t even snow today As it's just spitting, even melting in the eyes, so Sniffing isn’t probably recommended as most of it Will just settle in the gut only to make more Dripping snot when it’s so wet and icy out. Mother was always asking when she would die, As if anyone knew anything about expiration dates For the dead, but she was the middle child and Why was she alive when all the younger kids, And even all the older sibs, were now resting, Planted somewhere in the South where plastic Flowers always bloom on yahrzeits even if none Had ever heard of such annual events. So here I’m perched on a high chair, coffee and croissant On a high table, looking out at busy bodies On their way to their next adventure, or maybe Just forgotten milk or eggs. I wouldn’t mind at All making an exit here though it would be So unsettling for all around as two pre-teens Giggle over vids on their brand-new phones, Another is pouring over a philosophy textbook, Probably required, both hands holding the head To better absorb all the dense nonsense, then looking Up, looking sad, looking out at the grey afternoon. They might enjoy the novelty, for who wouldn’t Want to talk about what happened right next To where we were? There’d be a handful of well-wishers, but in another hundred years, who's going to remember any of this as who can recall Even last year? Of course I feel fine, but then One day, all of us are not going to feel so fine. Even the fading tulips I just brought home, now They are all drooping terribly, blooms bowing On the outside of that lovely green vase Where tulips and daffs always look so fine. Outside, the snow continues to drip, with Spring only four more years away for some Of us, and some, as you know, will not see Spring arriving with daffs and tulips on the Lawn, but placed in parks all across well Manicured lawns where stones tell us, if We are curious, where somebody still is.
Forget serenity, contentment, bliss, joy, even a Happy happy, or a calm beating heart, for out Here, it’s miserably cold, and no one is opening A door with a come-on-in, warm yourself up, How about a cup of warm tomato soup, but Instead, the pit bull straining to chomp all the Way through to the shin is so much more An existential angst, and the trick is not to let The master with the leash think for even a second You’re the least bit disturbed with facing a big Pit amputation. Of course, the walk home at dusk And opening the creaky door might open into Some sense of safety from the winds that break Even frozen eyelashes, fingers numb, even with Mittens, so clearly, it’s pointless to pick up anything That might be of any interest even if what’s there Is only a few feet away, and so, it’s like this every Day, but it’s really not that cold out, and the pit Bull is just a yappy chihuahua, and the door that Leads to safety, well, let’s just completely forget That as that comfort left so long ago. So this is What we face. Of course, you don’t think anything Ever even close to this will happen to you, how Could you, but just wait, those sunny days, warm Sand beaches, a lovely person next to you who Wants to bathe you in kisses just about everywhere So just wait, you’ll see, even when you only wonder Why all around you has suddenly turned quite Chilly, and then an iceberg floats by with a thin- as-bones bear who stares at just you, though What you see can’t even move to swim all the Way to you, and eat in exasperation what You’d call you, but no need to worry, just wait.
©2020 Dewitt Clinton
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