Brandi; rocks

She played tambourine with
all the musical finesse of a
collapsing supermarket
pyramid of canned peaches

watching her writhe songs –
eyes closed, soul lost in odd
spiritual chords; pop bel-canto
beat unheard by anyone else

one couldn’t help but think
this was one helluva band to
just sit and watch with awe

even if – like me – you didn’t
much care for their kind of
music, or how it was played

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Résumé

Paperboy.
Mower of lawns,
painter of fences;
ice-cream-scooper-
slash-soda jerk,
lumberjack.
Old- folk odd-jobber,
potato peeler
dishwasher
donut seller

Early vocations of a
professional amateur,
experience invaluable;
financed my adolescent
frivolity while banking
interest-compounding
life lessons.

I still make regular
withdrawals.

Radio announcer, sales
consultant, commercial
producer; census taker,
construction worker,
radio station manager.

Boss? For a time.

Different lessons from
more life lived; setbacks
professional, personal –
some debilitating.
Still the bills got paid.

Mostly.

Bellman, waiter, artist.
Driver of vans, limousines,
cars; passengers and data
hauled, coddled, delivered.
Security guard, file clerk,
receptionist, print maker.
Writer, announcer, tutor
…condom inspector?

Yes, I was.

Warehouses, factories, cafes.
Offices, loading docks, streets.
Vehicles, assembly lines, home.
Construction sites, studios,
laboratories and back rooms.
Restaurants, kitchens, hotels.

Service with a smile. Always.

Suits, uniforms, dungarees;
shirts, ties, lab coats, work boots
in prairie dog cubicle villages, dimly
lit, noisy, grimy, OSHA eschewed
houses of manufacture, shipping.
Blue collar, white collar, always
a ring around the collar.

Worked hard. Always.

Case manager, trainer of job
seeking and on-the-job skills; how
to find employment, how to keep it:
promoted, finally to professional.

Middle age, finding my true calling
the front of a classroom: high school
students looking at the adult world
skeptically, lacking the confidence,
missing the skills, high on bravado,
looking to me for all the answers.

Credibility an issue, as they see me
as privileged, incapable of relating
to them: their world, lives, dangers.

If it were only as simple as that.

Stepping in dogma

Faith is ego

True, deep, abiding
exclusionary faith
is your ego run amok

Blind faith is
egomaniacal, contrary
to belief , less about
submission, more
simple self-absorption
cum-righteousness

Believing is good.

Absolute certainty,
unfortunately,
is all about you

Valentine Poem #5 (The Definitive Valentine Poem: for Amy)

Young and beautiful
Someday your looks will be gone
When the others turn you off
Who’ll be turnin’ you on
I will, I will, I will,
– The Captain and Tennile, Love Will Keep Us Together

We have been together twenty years
nineteen of those as husband, wife

skeptics be damned; we knew early
it would work – at least I hoped so

First sight? Yes, and most all since

Wedding sermonizing, stray advice
from grizzled old timers cautioned us;
fading rose blooms, finding common
interests as togetherness progressed

counsel heeded, time has brought us
deeper understanding, true partnership

First sight? I remember my initial
glance, the eyebrow-raising view I
got upon arrival at the restaurant we
had decided upon during pre-meeting
phone conversations; I always picture
her sitting on that end of bar stool,
turning toward the door as I entered
the neighborhood café, seeing those
blue eyes, wry smile, cunning figure

Not a difficult task: time hasn’t blurred
the picture nor does it need retouching:
a funny thing happened along the life
road called til-death –do-us –part.

I now know every inch of her intimately
marveling frequently at her Dorian Gray
routine, thankful every day for the gift

her eyes are still the most unique shade
of azure, the little lines around the edges
still crackle with a thousand stories when
she smiles; a smile that still entices
like it did that first night from a barstool

Twenty years -partners, lovers, friends to
whom a funny thing happened on the
way to happily-ever-after; not what they
told me – nothing at all like the song said

“Young and beautiful
Someday your looks will be gone
When the others turn you off
Who’ll be turnin’ you on…

She does, she does. she does…
oh, my! She still really does.

Calling my wife at work (Valentine Poem #4)

Can I take you to lunch?
May I take you upstairs?

I have only an hour
to go where I desire

to be taken – taking time
for longings, for lunch –
taking time is tempting
as you tempt me,
letting me be taken to
lunch or taken elsewhere,
always hungry

because I am always taken
with you.

The rub here is that I need
to be back in an hour – can
we make this order to go?

Call me when you get this.

-Click-

Old photos

Dad, playboy? More a
sexual revolution
Bolshevik – sans cap.

A revision from the dusty recesses of the Marchives: Valentines Poem #2

Poets have often
likened love
to roses
summer days
other sundry
natural
phenomenon

I see love in
more esoteric yet
practical ways;

love is tartar sauce.
It looks like hell
you have no idea
what might be in it
yet you always
seem to find
it tasty.

Antipasto!

Dinner with my Valentine;
wine and Sinatra
Fine haiku-be-do-be-do…

Valentine Poem #1

My first Valentine was an always smiling,
friendly, never-ever mean girl named Linda

she had long, blonde hair typically tied up
in bouncy pigtails bound with basic-color
rubber bands, not a shiny ribbon or the big,
gaudy, pink-plastic barrettes the snooty,
untouchable first-grade girls favored

We shared cards and candy conversation
hearts in our chair-back hanging, decorated
shoe boxes, rarely conversed ( but smiled at
each other a lot)  never did we consummate
sandbox time. Mrs. Kime sat us side-by-side,
served as all-year chaperone, gave us both A’s

Fifth grade found me in a new town, school –
yet still enticed by a pretty blonde with heavily
swaying pigtails. Laure favored darker dresses
with short hemlines (which I now noticed) but
(contrary to common boy-belief of the time) her
single strap, shiny black patent-leather shoes
did indeed reflect up, didn’t show all that much.

By sixth grade I had graduated to the far more
refined, jaunty, titillating, free-swinging pony tail;
yet another blonde with even shorter hemlines
and longer legs with which to showcase them.
Peggy was far taller than I, was assigned to be my
dance partner in gym class, and I enjoyed the view
I had by rarely looking up while the music played.

That was also the year that a different tall, pony-
tailed blonde named Penny tried repeatedly to be
my Valentine (even out of Cupid season) while I
continually, nervously demurred – mostly out of
adolescent confusion at (for once) being desired,
not the in-vain pursuer; a lost Penny.

Far from being maudlin, romantic lamentations
of lost youth, they are fond remembrances; sweet,
in-retrospect-benignly-innocent, recollections;
they are, indeed, my Valentine tails of the heart.

February 3rd

Punxsutawney Phil.
Moment, passed. Drunken binge. Six
more weeks of hangover.