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Monday, October 17, 2016


TAB at 56, two years younger than I am now
our East Cambridge digs
After my fabulous Saturday, I came crashing back down to Planet Grief. I couldn’t sleep last night – just kept staring at The Amazing Bob’s side of the bed – passionately, fiercely wishing and willing him to be there. Turns out, my determined heart has limits. TAB was a no-show.

Below, a few of The Amazing Bob's thoughts on poetry followed by, of course, a few poems.
Every once and a while I think about writing something on how I feel about poetry and how I write them (poems). But then I think I shouldn’t waste time – I should use that time to work on a poem or at least do something that might lead to a poem. The older I get, the more difficult it becomes to get inspired and then to find the form. Also, I’m not satisfied cranking out doggerel. But I have a strong aversion to spending too much energy on form, like the academics who spend their years working on sonnets and sestinas and so on – learning to encipher their meaning – the calculus of poetry. I’ve always thought poetry should be simple and clear, like Gershwin (Ira) or Cole Porter without the music. You should communicate something – not so very different from conversing with a friend. The meter should not be too complicated – Dr. Seuss knew this and Langston Hughes, for example. And yet it shouldn’t be caveman brutal like the rap or hiphop crap. Sneering gets old, real quick. Attitude is no substitute for quality.

The first thing: What do I want to say? 
       East Cambridge
Moonrise over the bay
People today speak of love
       speed to love
       need some love
As if it were a commodity
       some new oddity
To be procured on demand
       like a one-night stand
To be scheduled for convenience
       trained for obedience
Bringing with it gratification
       and congratulations
From all the bright faces
       the right faces
In all the right places
In all the trendy stores
From those who never ever snore

But we who’ve grown in years
       we who’ve known some tears
       who’ve been ‘round the block
       and seen all the schlock
Say it’s not about the glitter
       the chatter and titter
No, you must first understand
       it’s not a one man band
It’s bad breath in the morning
       watching movies and yawning
Making lunch for your sweetie
       giving yourself completely
Taking care of biz
Until she accepts you
For what she is.

       East Cambridge
This morning the osteoarthritis
Attacked my right font shoulder;
This is merely one small thing
That you get as you get older

Tonight the pain attacked again
In my left hand, in the main:
I think they say variety
Is indeed the spice of pain

       East Cambridge
Am I now in the median
For a guy of my age,
Having had two heart attacks
Last week?
Not that I’ve suddenly started to give a shit
About my place within the demographics
Of anybody’s distribution curve.
Now my awareness of mortality
Is no longer an intellectual concept;
It is an experience of oneself
As a terrified, helpless bit of life,
The flip side of being born
Most likely.

       East Cambridge 
Instead of smoking
I’m eating crackers and fruit.
How long will that last,
Before I OD on healthy crap?
Serial killers on Death Row
Can have cheeseburgers and cigarettes
But I can’t.
Is that fair?

       East Cambridge
Why can’t I be the sweet sensitive poet
Dying gracefully, quill in hand
Instead of a wounded old monster
Snarling, ugly, one man band?
Why couldn’t my will, my steel belted determination keep him alive, healthy, happy and in no pain? I HATE this!

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