Eight days a week
walking on Penny Lane
he had Beatles tunes
stuck in his head, but
under the boardwalk
it was The Drifters.
He never figured out
why fools fall in love
in the still of the night.
Ron.’s Almost Perfect In Red River
The newly-released August issue of Red River Review is up, and it contains my poem Step Right Up. I’ve been waiting for them to tweak the linebreaks but, so far, no fix. I’m sure they’ll get around to it, but I got a little weary of waiting and a little eager to start bragging, so I’m posting it here. If you prefer, you can read it HERE (with the un-tweaked breaks), where you’ll also find 70 other really fine poems.
Step Right Up
My Uncle Del, my father always said, could sell
an icecube to an Eskimo, a dozen pairs of shoes
to unwary legless vets; could sell, without a beat,
Beelzebub himself a heater and a book of matches
and insurance, too, just in case of fire.
said my Uncle Del had paid his way through school
by getting fools to waste their time and lose their
thin and bottom dimes on crooked games of chance
they had no chance of winning.
________________________And I don’t know
if all that’s true, or if my dad was selling me a bill
of goods about a relative I’d never met, and yet
it seems it might be true:
____________________When I was young, if
I had run to circus tents, if I were offered choice,
I knew what kind of circus work I’d choose. I’d use
my voice to rope the luckless suckers in; I’d stand
outside the tent and sing in praise of freaks. I’d get
the rent and every other cent the dopes could spend
to see the geeks and flipperkids, the tiny Raisin Boy,
the swallower of lengthy swords, the Fishface Twins,
then send them out to borrow more, if only just
to see the show again.
_________________ I’d bark them in, alright.
Have a sparkling Saturday with Call Me Cate at SHOW MY FACE
Ever looked good out on Main, his feet a foot above a fiery sidewalk, his wings wide, his eyes glazed. He’s higher and wiser than most, his lowest moments behind him now, dim memories, all the earth unfolding, lifting him up, a raging angel.
Will had held a packet of powder for hours, waiting for Ever to show; waiting, drained, with a hacking cough in a slow rain. This is what he did. Hidden in his jacket pocket, deep in the darkness there, the tiny white bundle had waited for Ever.
Now it was an hour or more further into the rain. Ever’s out on Main in a red hat and a fine high haze and Will’s on another corner, further downtown, waiting forever for another sucker, with a pocketful of bait.
After his card gets rejected
a second and a third time,
after the cashier starts to look
annoyed and the customers,
agonized in line behind him
have shifted from foot to
weary foot, he finally takes a
second look at the touchpad
and realizes that 2-3-5-7
does not spell out his secret
nickname but is, in fact, his
office telephone’s extension.
Happy that he has not lost
his mind, or not completely
lost his mind, he slides the
magic plastic one more time.
While everybody rolls their
eyes and holds their breath,
he punches in the 3 and 5 and
6 and 6 he should have known
without a second thought, without
a second’s hesitation. The room’s
illuminated by patrons’ smiles,
the cashier’s affect brightens,
the folks in line look forward to
inching forward, captains again
of their shopping fate, glad
to see the geezer gone at last,
meds in hand, leaning on his cane,
scanning the lot for his lost car.
My poem “Valentine’s Day” is up today at Blue Skirt Productions‘ web magazine. I submitted two pieces (Valentine’s Day and Graveside) for an upcoming anthology of poems remembering deceased parents. Graveside was rejected, and Valentine’s Day is still under consideration but, in the meantime, editor Sally Lehman has decided it’s worthy of publication at the Blue Skirt web magazine. I hope you’ll think so, too.
I’ll keep you posted about the anthology.
All Yesterday Afternoon I Was John
Call Me Cate is Call Me Cate at SHOW MY FACE