My Poem – Fictional Clarity


Fictional Clarity

I was usually lying when we talked,
trying to figure out what you wanted to hear.
It was my main form of mental exercise,
Keeping that mythical universe straight.
The real world was green when we began
And I was terrified of being understood,
Unmasked, and pushed firmly away.
We were an oddly matched set of candlesticks.
Dogs both, I read books by the freight car load,
You used them to dress a room.
You never played any sport in your life.
Your father was a monster. Mine was a Dad.
Your mother was a victim. My Mom was a Viking.
Your siblings got beatings. Was that really true.
Impossible to judge. A manipulation?
Your other specialty was to gift me a Delphi Oracle answer,
holding the mirror up for me to see what I wanted,
permitting me to stuff the fool’s gold into my pocket,
the one with the hole in it. The clarity of mud.

Maybe I was hoping to get caught,
Or gathering plot incidents for the novel
I was too damned lazy to write.
One day I realized one enormous truth
That explained a ton of moments of extreme unction.
You had million dollar taste and a sixty thousand dollar income,
Producing megatonnage stress in your life. And mine.
But then I sat down over a coffee and added up
Your list of deceptions involving
Your son and your other boyfriend.
And your best friend who drove you a little crazy
In her neediness, her long climb back
From a thermonuclear divorce.

We were in your bed cooling down like the desert slipping into night
When your other guy, the lawyer called
And you soothed him on the phone
Trying to erase his hellish day.
I sat on the other side of your bed,
Studied your back and the back of your head
In the shadows of your bedroom.
It was winter outside.
I listened to your sweet, understanding words.
Then I tried to think carefully to decode
The lies you must have been telling me.
How did we arrive at this fiction.
When could we put it back on a shelf

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Poem – You are the Fellini of It


You are the Fellini of It

set me free
set the broken bones in my head
set the cup down
push me up the hill
push the door open
jump in
it is my dream
and you are the Fellini of it

all the women are ugly
the children are hungry
enough to kill for food
there are boys with AK47s
no, they are hockey sticks
no, they are candle sticks
and they are altar boys
and the church is a boat
and the devil is in all the water

the man tells me about his brother
in the hospital unable to breathe
unassisted and I remember
my mother with the oxygen tube
at home with her cat sitting
watching her as she slept
in the middle of the afternoon

I remember when you kissed me
one kiss for a world’s record or
at least my personal best of 31 minutes

that was before we counted up
every lie we had shared and then
the rest we tossed in a one way
short circuit. Wrap that up
for the Christmas tree, OK?