No such foot exists in English,
Tell them otherwise? They’ll whistle
Even if you’re heading north to
Driving through a freezing blizzard
Stuffed inside a green and purple
Fighting off a virus plus a
They will still be adamant-- but
Don’t insist their hocus pocus
Even though they know that they are
Don’t expect that they’ll admit it—
Just relax, and it’ll happen,
Could it take another decade?
They will say, How silly of me,
(Will they add they’re very sorry?
In Memory of the Nissan Stanza Wagon, 1982-1996
—for Ron Wallace
You hardly ever see one nowadays—
they’re nearly gone. Endangered, anyhow,
because of the intensifying craze
for S.U.V.s, the industry’s cash cow—
but some of us remember how it felt
to climb into that barren, boxy space,
yank and snap the fraying safety belt
and dream of glitz, and speed, and careless grace—
all the things our Stanzas never were,
by any stretch. But as we chugged
along the same old road, year after year
(handicapped, some said, by what we dragged
behind us from an unenlightened time),
we could sense a subtle turnabout:
our Stanzas were acquiring some acclaim
in circles with considerable clout.
Perhaps it was because we knew our beat
so well, the basic letter of the law,
while improvising several ways to cheat
a little, cut some corners, raise the bar
on all the disagreements, groans and whines
about what Stanzas could or couldn't do.
So if one comes your way, check out the lines
and brakes. Make it yours. And make it new.
previously published in SUBJECT TO CHANGE (David Robert Books, 2004)
Dear Sir or Madam: In this envelope
please find some poems that I have written.
I send them to you in the earnest hope
that you will read them and be wildly smitten.
In fact, you’ll jump up, cheering, from your chair
And holler out, Hey, get a load of these!
We’ve got the poems of the decade here,
we’d better print them in our journal! Jeez,
is this a little miracle, or what?
And then you’ll fax or phone me right away
to tell me that you’re breaking out a split
of Taittinger, to toast your lucky day
and call me back to say you might as well
FedEx my check this minute, what the hell.
first published in the journal FREE VERSE