Thursday, July 20, 2017

Envy Wallowing

Imagine for a second that you’re Mookie Betts.
He’s about your size. He runs more and lifts more,
But standing sideways you’re about equal.
Imagine that you rolled a seven, hit the number,
Put your money on the winning horse, drew
Inside for a straight-flush, imagine you blasted
The walk-off hit that wakes up the stadium’s
Pagan thank you, imagine you have a god’s body
And enough treasure to start your own country.
Imagine it’s guaranteed, no fine print, all yours.
Imagine flying an airplane after hitting a homerun.
Imagine sliding on the turf to snag a slicing hit.
Imagine stealing second then third then home.
You are Mookie Betts, oyster and pearl,  you
Are the best thing that happened to your team,
The best thing that happened to your friends,
The best that ever happened to your family; go ‘head,
Ask them. Imagine you’re Mookie Betts eating
Prime rib in a classy place with a foreign name and a chef,
And who cares, when each plate costs over a hundred;
Then meeting someone in the lavatory who wants an autograph
After you pee and wash your million dollar hands, Mookie Betts,
The best thing since regular guys invented. Imagine being
Resident on Mt. Olympus with the other beauties,
A chest full of gold and diamonds, platinum, jewels
Glittering in piles, and someone somewhere is building
A temple and an altar for bowing in a cap and jersey,
Mookie Betts, number 50, Boston Red Sox home colors.
Imagine being Mookie Betts with the kind of money
Only a moron or a saint could squander. Imagine
Having a name like Mookie, and all you ever have to do
Is show up to be loved, just get out of the car
With your entourage, walk into the building, the stadium
Toward the front where the emcee is standing, waiting
With his microphone to introduce the greatest person
In the whole world, the one, the only, Mookie Betts.
Imagine being Mookie Betts for an eternal second.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Villanelle

My grandmother was tortured so tortured us,
Saying mom was fat, dumb, and should see a shrink,
Though we all got used to that.  She was the boss.

No matter your age or how many grandkids you toss
On the family pile, you always stood on the brink:
My grandmother was tortured so tortured us

Wherever we were, as she saw fit.  Without any fuss
She identified her targets: we were her playthings!
Though we all got used to that, she was the boss,

With underlings to beat down, to belittle, she’d cuss
In our faces till we cried and fled the family shin dings.
My grandmother was tortured so tortured us,

Thinking, perhaps, we’d get stronger, more robust
Of spirit, ready to take on the world, and never sink!
Though we all got used to that, she was the boss

That gave no promotions, no praise, tallied each loss
In columns with our names attached by chain-link.
My grandmother was tortured so tortured us,
Though we got used to that. She was the boss.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Orgy Over

all the world's battlefields
like monumental beds

where millions sleep it off
in the arms of one another

after going at it like hell
like there's no tomorrow--

walking through this one
on tiptoe not to wake them

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gerontic Fable

Two people meet in the middle of a bridge. They start talking. One's dressed in blue and the other's in red. They finish their conversation amicably, and walk off in the opposite direction, each scratching her head in confusion. "So, how was it," is the question they face upon reaching their compatriots. "Fine," they say. "But those people have a hard time with reality." Suddenly a speedboat shoots by beneath the bridge. Its co-pilot holding a sign that reads: Jump, jump and we'll save you!

Monday, May 29, 2017

In This Garden, May 28, 2017

In this garden there are no fuming voices
With answers and choices that are neither.
On a Sunday with a woodpecker and a fat jay
Singing for their stake, in the shade of hazelnut

Bushes, now trees you can’t control no matter
How much you need deep down to grab hold
And steer them, hydra-headed it all comes back
Like the offspring of war.  Today I let it grow

As will, as squirrels bellyflop from the branches
To help me drown out the very best gone sour,
This hour when the lizard makes a mad dash

Between nettle cover along the narrow path,
Their hands wide open to the angle of the sun;
Already critical of what I have yet to write down.

Monday, May 22, 2017

America, the Game

In the game some play
By the rules, others slay
According to the aim
No matter what shame

Gets visited on the game,
The aim is always to win
And climb out of that sin
Losers feel all the same.

Unless your God awaits
With a book of notations
And timeless quotations
For your choice of fates,

Playing the game of lies
And disdain for the whys
Lands you the only prize:
Fear, in power’s disguise.

Rules apply to saps
And those with a vision
Of eternal damnation,
Feathers in their caps

Burning as beacons
For the whole of creation
Like blushing deacons
Witness dog exultation

On the corner where Go
Has an electric fence
To fry the poor and low,
Whose capital offense

Is being. Hence a God
Or a conqueror’s bod
Since the game’s rules
Are meant for the fools

While life means zero
To the capitalist weirdo
Whose one God is fame
And a moneyed last name.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tourist Posture

Russia ascends.
Russia about to be

a bottomless pit
of misery.  African

lives on the up.
Agriculture, industrial

output motherly.
The Amazon thrives

with life.  It slithers
dead zones

of epicensure.
China falls to modernity,

treats the world
like fuel, face-

savings in the bank.
Things to worry about

are things to love
and love is something

to worry about.
Billions build

towers of elsewheres,
hungry droves

in groves of children,
orchards bathed

in American
chemical ingenuity

ambitiously
proper calibration

of the sights  
to safeguard peace

on earth, good will
to those whom we ask

their souls.  See,
the slouching bear

on TV, decidedly
polar, on a drift

of ice once
a continent of snow

the whole year.
God’s people, thank

God, on the case.
Not for beasts, perhaps

but others
who turn out not to be

too greedy, too needy
for their stay.

Hope is elementary,
and wants to keep it that way.