Word !

How do you do better than Keen?

Though it’s a little before my time

You can’t be better than Neato

Unless you can do a wheelie

The girl in your class is Swell

My eyes roll to hear her name

She can’t top a Ping Par

Or eat a cricket without Ralphing

Maybe your car’s kinda Groovy

But, what’s hanging from the mirror?

Your Buick’s not a Disco

It’s not Tuff like the Scramble Van

Big man’s pretty Rad

Your tie is skinny and pink

I guess you think your Bitchin’

Smelling like British Sterling

My turn to be the Bomb

I grew up in your shadow

And learned to be a Player

While big brother’s now gray and married

The life I got is Sweet

The disco ball, now it’s mine

The Buick’s now a custom

And me?

I’m Fly like a G six

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to MaryJane

That beautiful rocking chair

That once stubbed my toe

That pillar of hope

That hurt my feelings

That last sight of all the simple things

That could have been

That, which we have become

Apart for now

Apart for ever

That, I have come to forgive

Perfect

I am aghast

I can’t let it go

Why do I obsess?

You’re just a tree

I tried to make you perfect

I pared you down

To a sapling, gasping and gaunt

I tried to paint you

Until my page was filled

With anger and scribbles

Tree you are perfect

In that life abounds

I am the one who needs

To be better

A Friend through Time

I came by to see you

Let’s go and skip stones

We’ll roll up our sleeves

And tell how we’d change the world

 

I came by to see you

Why not fly a kite

And shield our eyes

From the bright rays that made us tan

 

I came by to see you

Let’s drive to the house of brew

Ask the gals for a dance

And sing of the unicorn whale

 

I came by to see you

Today we’ll just sit

And ponder the long ago

I’m here with you my friend

 

I wouldn’t change a thing

Rail Tequila and Ginger Ale

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, a glorious array of passersby and two wheeled locals on about their business. Thoughts of well-wishers and neighbors there to lend a helping hand fill my little suburban heart. A glorious day this, but it morphed into the type of reality that was feared from the get go. The cost paid for wanting to visit the Charm City was frazzled nerves and the occasional bumped shoulder. Car horns blared and muffled voices sound an impatient “get out of the way.” The heat was getting to everyone.
At the corner of Pratt St. and Light is the M&S Grill. Perhaps a quiet few to wash away the evil glares and the teeth sucking of those glaring about the ineptitude of the wide-eyed visitor would ease the pain.

No host came to greet anybody here and it wasn’t an oasis after all, it was just Any Bar USA. Glasses clinked, the banter roared and the laughter, raucous. An empty seat at the bar and an inattentive bartender was the destination.

After a cold beer finally arrived it was time to check out the surroundings. No eyes met and no gentle head nods of acknowledgement were to be seen. Perhaps it was the condensation of the beer glass or maybe it was nervous sweat, uneasy palms met Levis and then went in for another quaff.

In the last seat at the end of the bar sat a woman. She had a slight smile and a look on her face like she knew something, something about me and was deciding whether to let me in on it or not. Sitting under direct restaurant lighting she looked like the Mona Lisa. In front of her was an empty pilsner-glass, an empty rocks glass and a highball still being sipped on.

“It wasn’t always like this uh uh.” She said. “Back then people had manners. People knew how to carry on conversations.”

I turned around and then back and did a quick scan of the surroundings again to be sure of whom it was she was talking to.

“I’ve lived here all my life. I used to work right there at the aquarium. Before that I worked for at the old cup company. It’s no longer there. That was a fun job. I’m out of work right now.” She added as she gently tapped on the edge of her glass.

She had on a pair of khakis and a graphic t-shirt with the ocean printed on the front. Her sneakers had some life left in them and on her head was a white knit cap. She went on to say that she lived right by Pimlico Race Track and she knows the bus schedule to everywhere she needs to go.

“I never learned to drive.” She admitted and almost seemed a little embarrassed about it. “It sort of scares me. That’s seems silly huh? At that moment she seemed a little less like a Mona Lisa and a little more like some ones timorous grandmother. She also had a way of talking through a person. It wasn’t out of rudeness but out having something to say all the time. Finally when asked if she needed another drink, she chimed in with; “rail tequila and ginger-ale, please.” even before I finished the question.

Who was it that bought her the beer that was in the Pilsner glass? Who bought her the whiskey I’m guessing was in the rocks glass? And was the rail tequila and ginger-ale really worth another go? At this point it didn’t really matter. The pushy city life didn’t have the impact it had earlier. The heat of the day and the impatience of the crowds had long since evaporated.

After a short while full of banter and understanding head nods she picked up her things and said; ‘It was nice meeting you.” And she left. The cost of making a friend and learning about the city was a rail tequila and ginger-ale.

Teamwork

Like living dolls,

a piano

and a cavernous room with

dust in the corners

there’s a teacher,

with a plan

in a vast space with

sweat on the floor.

 

I see images

of cracked feet,

aching calves

and little rats.

 

Degas my friend

I feel your pain.

Beauties twist my heart

there’s admiration and contempt.

 

What must they think

of me and each other

as they nod

and study a fingernail?

 

They move with power

And can incite riots

With casual nods

And mouths like merchant marines.

 

Still,

A misplaced word

or an unintentional smile

can fill a room with tears.

 

It makes me hate myself