Practice Grace


Practice grace,
study grace,
fill your ears with the greats - 
Bach & Miles & Duke,
and whoever else
plays with grace.

Be the busker of grace;
embrace every encounter
as an opportunity to 
practice grace.
 
Do it for 
its intrinsic
beauty;

and with grace
you won’t need
reimbursement.

Former Friend

 While I was walking to catch a ferry home -  
it was leaving in ten minutes -
I ran into a former friend;
someone who I pulled the plug on
a couple of years ago:
the friendship wire frayed from
denial and disrepair.

as always, his dress was casually prosperous 
and well-ironed,
though a bit strained under some
extra weight;
his curly hair set in place
with product,
his eyes tired and porcine.

we shook hands a bit too forcefully,
with the illusion of enthusiasm,
as if nothing had gone down
between us.

I asked him about his succession of jobs;
yes, every one continued to have a villain who
didn’t appreciate his value.
they all started with promise, but ended badly.
he is presently unemployed and collecting again.

girlfriends?
a couple of instant soul mates,
but nothing lasting,
they all have emotional problems.
presently single, but looking.

he bought a new Beemer last year -
posted it on Valentine's Day -
before his latest job termination,
still lives in a small rental in town,
planning to buy a house of his own when…

his mom’s still hemorrhaging his inheritance -
always nothing but the best -
in the best assisted-living facility,
still alive at ninety-seven,
though she doesn’t recognize him when
he visits every couple of months;
he is relieved that mom doesn’t recognize 
his sister either, who visits every day.
he’s gotten a lawyer to protect 
what’s coming to him.

nothing’s changed.

didn’t have much time to answer
what about you?
with more than:
still married, still working, still living in our same home;
but we adopted a rescue dog from Arkansas.

hearing the ferry announced I said
gotta go.

quickly shook his hand and
walked away before the inevitable:
let’s-get-together
or
what happened?

don’t remember what caused the unplugging,
probably was a bunch of small things
that gnawed at the cable;
only knew that the wires were 
beyond repair.

Ghosted

 
She said
she was walking
to town
to buy
some tomatoes,
and never came back.

She could
imitate
different animals,

loved all
kinds of
weather.

She knew perfumes,
could rewire
appliances,
curse in
several languages.

She said
I love you
every night
before falling
asleep.

The day that
she vanished
she took nothing, 
except
my heart.

Parable of Maturation





 
controllers
on the tube


this junk itself as
                        sex


mechanical       in the beginning
the illusion
      then language
               dictates
what we see hear smell


sell shill
sham honor among fools


unbelievable voices
            never stopping
will not shut up


authenticating existence - 
             but whose?
             yours? theirs? mine?


you never know what to expect
so locked up, safe in the shadows


without surprise


listening for train whistles
smelling burning leaves