Not Prose

I would never have the audacity to refer to the following as poetry…but it isn’t prose. Sometimes there is not a long story there; just a thought, a feeling, or a fragment of memory. It needs to be said. It needs to be written down. So…i do

I walked out of a bar


I walked out of a bar…Not very far
And there was a Monkey on top of a car

Why was he there?
I don’t really care but
he was combing his hair while he sat in a chair
singing a song  that I’d heard somewhere
but I just couldn’t place it…
…I started to drum on a can

The monk looked my way and said, “Groovy man.”
I said, “Far Out.”
And we continued to play.

We were having some fun
when a cop with a gun came along.
He watched for a while; got into our style
and pulled out his harmonica to join in the fun.

When he started playing along
we attracted a throng of people from the bar
as well as the folks who owned that car.

A man with guitar got into the car (outside of the bar),
but he got back out so he could be a part of our scene
which was both groovy and far out (and little obscene).
His friends started to shout (they thought they were singing)

Oh Me
But it was only a moment before some girls came along
to rescue our song with some close harmony

The monkey looked down at me as if to say, “what have we done? —
Man, this is OK.”  Then he grabbed his balls and he fast ran away.

When I woke up this morning, I would never have dreamed
any of this would have happened today.

Number One

Number One
Crawling through the dark tunnels
Pressed tightly against one another.

Asian girl
I can’t even see her face but I am falling in love
With her scent and the way her Khakis slip
Gracefully into her

A Tangled Tango

[read to the rhythm of a Tango]

Alejandro Positano
Was quite a large Cubano
Who liked to dance the Tango with his men
They dare not refuse him and he would not excuse them
they knew how the evening would end (wink)

On most every Sunday (he called that his ‘fun day’)
He’d stroll down to Rosita’s Saloon
All his men would be there
Loaded with Rum; waiting like goons.

Just waiting to hear the bands
Tu dump dump duh duh
With a gulp from his glass
and a toss of his hat
He grabbed any partner, sliding this way and that
(He was light on his feet for a man so damn fat)

The squeezebox was squeezing
His partner was sneezing
But nothing could dampen this dance
A new man was be dragged ‘long the floor.
Till he couldn’t be dragged any more.


Alejandro was happy, he danced like a god
His cheeks were all rosy, his eyes all aflame
The men all ducked at the sound of his name
All the town folks just thought he was odd.

Rosita’s was noisy; the dance floor near full
When Alejandro felt a most urgent tug
On his arm hung the beauty-Rosita herself
Oh my, could she tango; oh how she did glow
As the two of them slithered about

From the back of the bar, there erupted a fracas
“You fat little fruitcake…dare you to dance with my Rosa”
From out of the crowd looking mean
Sounding loud
burst none other than
Jose Po-sa-da.

His face glowered red
Sweat dripped from his head
His fists were doubled in rage
He crushed a beer he held in one hand,
cut off the band
And pushed two men from the stage

Striding quickly towards that errant fat man

The two dancers were trancelike
Not hearing his threats
Not seeing his charge,
not caring at all.
The Tango had them lost in a thrall

Jose reached the couple,
he was near spitting fire
no one had a clue what was going to transpire

While Alejandro and Rosita
danced still all entwined

Jose couldn’t believe it
he was out of his mind
He fell to his knees and asked God to please
stop it
Before he did something unkind

Don’t make me kill him
he said to the sky
and at that very moment came a terrible crash
and a huge chunk of plaster fell into his eye

Where those dancers once stood
A rose bush now grows

A thorn in the side of Jose
When the ceiling caved in he had somehow been saved
(Only he and the barman were spared)
while around them dead townsfolk still lay
I guess every fool really does have his day.

People come here from miles around
To gaze at the garden sprung out of the rubble
Jose lives alone in a church down the way
Where he feels he is safe from God’s trouble.


At 60 the envy that I feel is real;
But it isn’t what you’d think-
Even what I thought it would be.

I don’t envy young men their youth
Their promise, or the money they might make.
I don’t envy them their muscles or health or certainly their lack of
Their sense of style leaves a great deal to be desired And frankly most
of what they say and think just makes me tired.

But the sex-
the women they attract;
And will taste in those early years.
The miles and miles of sex ahead of them
and often does,
bring me to tears.

It’s not like I’m a starving man
With nothing in my life
No one in my past –
I’ve had my share of love.
But can you ever get your fill?

of women, yes! Oh yes! Yes! Yes!
But sex,

legs and bushes – eyes and breasts, …

When I was young I would have laughed at this.
Women are not playthings…
Mothers make us think this stuff!
Give them respect and love them true.
But then … What’s in it for you?

and pain.
all that promise of sex is down the drain.
Gone with the exchange of a ring; the crying of a child;
a pet, a house, a car or simply… the passage of time.

Suddenly you aren’t worth a dime – To her.
Unless she isn’t yours
And  for some odd reason wants in your drawers…
Or at least she makes
you think…she does

And for a moment you let her make you think
This might be the one that
changes everything for me!
– it never is.

If I told one of those happy young lads on his way to getting laid,
What was in store for him.
That this one was just like all the rest (at best)
He would laugh and call me “old man”
But would he listen?

Would I ?

I’m not listening now.

On Awakening

consumed by fear of inadequacy
I face the endless days and nights alone
wrapped in a fragile cocoon of
ancient dreams and fading memories

Winter Moon

walking home alone
the last full moon of winter
reached down from above the city
and said look, look up
at me,

from between the buildings
the cold, bright beauty stared down
While I stood in the dark and watched
the clouds drift by in clumps
the elegant goddess claim her space in the night sky
watching the night grow colder

As I watched, I wondered
if you too were watching
from wherever you stood
or lay
most likely you were inside sleeping,
but what if you were watching
at the same time as I?

we might have been sharing this spectacle
imagining our hands clasped
fingers entwined
warm bodies lightly touching
breath making little clouds in the air above us

I wondered how that would feel
how I would feel at such a moment
and you…

would it remind you of a long-ago night
in another place
with another man
under the same moon
feeling close
feeling safe?

only to have your heart broken
and send you running
to the arms of another country
searching for something
to mend your soul

would it remind me of a long-ago night
atop a ship at sea
with another woman
under the same moon
feeling close
feeling something?

only to have my spirit broken
and go stumbling
through days and nights
searching for a truth
to mend my soul

do we dare to find out?

how much is there to lose for each?
how much to gain?
how many moons
are left for us to share?

do we dare?

A Meaningful Life

Oh, God
I need my life to be about something.
I hate that it’s not
about  anything.

I wake each day to a list of meaningless
chores I have decided must be complete
before I can be

But they are nothing.
simple tasks
a monkey could do if he was so inclined.
he would not be.
they would waste his time.

But I do them, anyway.
because I must
pass the time.
and try to make structure
from nothing

I miss my life.

I can’t even remember when it left me
Or I left it
suddenly it was no more and I was sleepwalking
pretending to accomplish

And now years later
There are no accomplishments
just stuff that eats away my time.
as the clock ticks on

The sun rises and sets

And I wait

For meaning
Or crisis
or death


Something to define
Why I was here at all.

And the phone rings
So I might as well answer it.

Scraps of Paper in a Box

Scraps of paper in a box
Stashed away for eternity
or a while…Whichever comes first.

Scraps of paper, yellowed
Stained with tears and sometimes blood
Filled with memories of horrors
gone, but not forgotten.

Scraps of words;  mundane enough
That changed the lives of
Many then, many now,

even some that came after
and  never felt the sting
but were changed in minute,
immeasurable ways-


scraps of paper
now retrieved
as life is winding down;
and days are spent
mostly in reflection.

Casually discovered
among  crayola and construction paper
memories of decades past.
Among  birthday cards, report cards, valentine cards
3 by 5 cards stained with scrawled words…

“He came home at 4AM., Twenty-two dollars in his pocket.”

words that brought eruptions of  pain; visions of struggles
sounds  shouts and screams and cries.
Thuds and crashes; Groans and whimpers.

Flashing images of knives and guns and broken glass
Upturned furniture and cold pizza
dripping down walls.

The feel of cuts and burns
Slaps and fists,  Broken glasses,
broken teeth,  ripped clothing,
pulled hair


Lifetimes of silence.

Scraps of paper

scraps of lives

Lifetimes of hatred

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