"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



Carlos said:  Jesus lived to 33  +looked at me like I’d

never heard of him   JESUS  he emphasized   He went

on to explain that in his youth he’d wanted to die when

Jesus had   But when the noble age arrived he decided to

die  at 50


Now well over that age  he’s decided to stay   8 mths. ago

he took a young bride  who currently resides in Cuba  I saw

her photo as she frantically called his cell during the 12 hrs.

he painted my house  We fell into an easy camaraderie  Carlos

+me   This is not the 1st time I have found a working man mystic


Ditto my roofer  Bush   He clutched my virgin poetry collection

+proposed   Hasn’t this happened to you?   The book came into his

hands as I mistook a lingering glance at a crack in the ceiling  to involve

the bookcase below   Oh  you love books!    Soon Bush had a strange look

all the while backing away from the poet  who’d asked him too aggressively:

Can you ever really go home?  


Can we?   To that original self   The earliest you  who loved the smell of old

men  (aftershave +wet dogs)    The you  who watched your Zaida wrestle

imaginary foes from a rocking chair made of metal+plywood +brown plastic

This in the living room where men in leotards wrestled each other on TV  every

day after school


In his white shirtsleeves  frail +near deaf   Zaida a king among men   He who

predicted that: once you saved the $3 for the doll you so desperately craved

you wouldn’t want her anymore   And you didn’t!   It was from Joseph Marlieb

you learned that wanting is a hungry uroboric beast  shredding +eating voraciously

the mundane reality of every single thing   you ever wanted


Except for:  A box of Standard Poodle puppies in the basement  The return of a

left breast   The bird you caught after shaking salt on it’s tail   Ditto the baby you

found in the bullrushes behind your house  the only one you ever kept


We are here for what amounts to a few hours, a day at most.

(Tracy K. Smith  Life On Mars  2011  Pulitzer Prize)



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One thought on “HOME

  1. Martin Atkins on said:

    good one! Zaida used to bang the arm of the rocking chair and curse at the bad guy wrestlers. When it was over he would have one shot of rye. Great old guy!

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