Sacrifices

We packed up this morning

To go home

I fit everything

into my suitcase except

Two biscotti

So I ate them

No thanks are in order

I took it for the team.

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Comedy Heaven

Animated bodies, chortling death

eager funny gods

hammered into jokes

karma laughs mucho

nothingness offers punchlines

quivering rollicking shambles

titters up visions

whither Xanadu, you zombies.

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Praise Him

Praise my dead father

gone thirteen years now

time for anger to subside

forget he never said I was pretty

stop being wistful when

women talk about being

daddy’s girl.

he had many good qualities: smart,

hardworking, uncomplaining

generous, forgiving, energetic, funny;

he wrote poetry

collected art

subscribed to the Book of the Month club.

Praise him a self-made man

raised in a cold water tenement

on Delancey Street

so poor he slept on two chairs pushed together

studied law riding the subway

on his way to sweep floors in a factory;

played ball on weekends; said

nothing came easy because

nothing came easy;

married my mother

always congratulated himself for

winning her hand

except at the end when she broke her hip,

lost her marbles,

then he sent her to me; but the middle

part was great.

Praise him because

though he was a homely, Jewish guy

with kinky hair and glasses

and big nose

he looked swell in a suit and tie

his sisters lined up next to him all

bouffant and manicured:

a success story and well deserved.

Praise him even

if he wasn’t that crazy about me;

who could blame him

I’m not that crazy about me either.

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I Ate Too Much

sushi tonight

stomach is big like Buddha

mind is Confucius

feet have wiggly Taoisms

fingers full of parables

lucky knees knocking

Shinto splinters, bless me

eyes Shiva with

seaweed suffering

I mean stuffering

holy moly gaslight.

I ate tuna rolls and shrimp

stopped with saucies

more than dozens, plus hiziki dust

was a come to Jesus moment

Dharma karma moment

so much sushi.

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I Was a Grasshopper

In a previous life

not very prestigious

you used to be a fucking

Southern debutant and once the king of England

Insect and aristocrat

I rose you fell

We meet in the humble middle a muddle

You ask if I miss my grasshopper days

Strumming and sulking in the weeds

I ask if you long for scepters and ballgowns

I teach you a card game

Maybe casino or gin rummy

You read a book aloud.

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Pugly

What’s in it for me

Snarls the dog nasty as hell

I ain’t gonna do shit just to be nice

I ain’t ice

I’m warm blooded hot blooded ready by twice

I gotta get

My pound of sweat

My ton of moola

Gotta make it worth my while

That’s my style

Growls the dog dirty as hell

Pay me and I’m your brother

Stiff me and you’re a muthafucker

Snarls the dog

Vengeful as hell.

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I Was Harried

out the garden

by spiders and crawling folksies, me

squatting crosslegged by the bee balm

wearing catscratch outfit sunhat

deadheading flowers digging clover

brilliant overhead

birds talking geese

on another side of the lake, I

dozed off by hypnotic insects

humble bumbling around me

tumbling into blossoms other

flying things meandering very ways or none

rosemary hollyhocks thyme all that sage

hiding in the rows of elephant ears

crouching with the wild the mild

pretend I can’t hear when

time to go he shouts will start looking

coming I say unfolding followed by clouds.

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Art of Randomness

gardens of flowers I don’t recognize

although I must have

planted them all, some year or another:

not as if they got here by themselves;

perhaps I was at a sale and picked a chancy

bulb, a likely looking leafy thing

dug a hole when I got home

waited to see what grew.

sounds like me doesn’t it?

plucking choices from a random universe,

blur of happenstance in color

with a cat meandering through.

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When I Am Awake

In the middle of the night

Izzy the cat sits and meows at me;

she sounds like I feel.

I make soothsome noises;

she keeps calling, wants me to

open the front door

even though there is a fine cat door

she uses all day long;

at night she demands concierge service and

Cries until I obey

or go to bed.

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Sporting Life

My husband has taken up knife throwing,

All our trees have giant wooden targets roped to

trunks pretending it is an art installation

I am pursuing the sport of poetry throwing

aim sestinas into the lake, six points

for each pallid fisherman I impale.

The two of us have acquired quite a reputation

Which helps with privacy.

Next we will try badminton

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