PRETA IN THE GARDEN
I’m not talking bullshit here.
This place stinks to high heaven,
no sweet nectar for such as me
till hell freezes over,
and that happens once in a lifetime.
The bees are busy, busy as bees.
Hummingbirds stick their noses into everything,
not an ounce of baby fat on those dudes!
But for me nada, not a drop of water as far as I can see,
even after it rains like there’s no tomorrow.
The scarlet poppies glisten like whores lounging
in slick satin lingerie on a New Orleans balcony.
I burn, I freeze, I hunger, I thirst
for just a mite of mercy
before the deck is cut, and the die is cast.
I have no one to blame but my former selves.
Those bastards! How I envy their gourmet meals,
their stolen pleasures constantly stirring up trouble,
tempests in a teapot, and now the cup is drained.
Even the slugs get satisfaction every night.
Envy, harsh mistress, why me, why me?
You can’t step into the same river twice,
when you’ve burned all your bridges.
Insatiable appetites, incurable regrets,
please, please let me feed somewhere.
TWO CALIFORNIA POEMS
- The Night Whistler
You sense some wrong presence
under the eucalyptus just before
moonrise but can’t make it out
for the shadows, something aware
of your every naked move.
Unrevealed, what lurks down there
is the menacing nostaligia of
the same old tune when it stops.
- Ego in La Jolla
I am an empty lot in a prime spot.
I am a kitten with a bloody rabbit leg.
I am a double cut of rare prime rib.
I am a dwarf green parrot on a pole.
I am the husband’s suspicious jealousy.
I am the nun attracted to married men.
I am the smitten student out for adventure.
I am the scholar copying graffiti.
I am the mythical brunch.
I am the unforeseen tremors.
I am the sun burning off the haze.
I am the impulse to pass the buck.
I am the minimal alienation.
I am palm trees in a picture.
I am the librarian’s suicide.
I am arthritis drunk at the piano.
I am irretrievable youth.
I am the psychic marimba.
I am an epidemic of visibility.
I am elite and absolute, the jewel.
La Jolla, California Summer 1980