New Car

Today I am picking up my new car

It is big and steel gray and shiny



It only costs a million dollars

Not really but it’s more expensive than my first house and

Just a bit smaller.

I am going to drive it to the thrift store

And the gym and the supermarket

Park it next to muddy old jalopies.

A peacock

Surrounded by slum pigeons.

But knowing me

Next week my new car will be


From the others

Covered in the grime of ordinary life that

One experiences on back roads.

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You know what’s funny?

Old ladies with tattoos

I know they exist

Because I see them in the locker room

After old lady swimming class.

And you know they must have been hot stuff

Back in the day

Maybe hippies dancing all stoned with hair flying

Or motorcycle bitches in leather hugging thug boyfriends

Around the waist

Or maybe even soldier girls drunk in Okinawa.

Tattoos don’t let you forget

That you used to be those people.

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When I start writing poems

After 75 years

I have lots of stories to tell

Many of which show me in a less than ideal light

I didn’t set out to be unpleasant

It just happened that way.

And now when my past is immutable

I’m stuck with who I was

But even at this age i don’t know

Who I will be.

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Writing Like a Lawyer

When I decided to become a lawyer

After decades of scoffing

At bourgeois stuffy boring men

In suits with briefcases

Like my father

I enrolled in law school, conveniently just

Down the road.

My first class was Legal Writing because

You know

You have to write to be a lawyer and

Lawyers have their own bourgeois stuffy boring language

I thought.

So for my first assignment

I wrote fluently, cascades of fancy words

Whereas accordingly insofar ascertainable approbation and so much more

Wrapped around a meaningless core, all these Latinate


I was proud as a peacock.

I had written like a lawyer

Like my father.

When the professor returned my assignment with comments and corrections

She wrote in red

On the top of page one

This is gibberish.

So that is how I learned

The hard way

To write like a lawyer.

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Rule #2

All widowers are permitted

After a respectful period of mourning

To fall in love again

And be happy.

Except for Karl

When I die he can choose to

Immolate himself in utter despair

Or become a monk.

Those are reasonable options, no?

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Rule #1

These people are entitled to talk about me when I am dead:

My children

To their respective psychiatrists

That’s it.

Anyone else can think about me

Or plant a tree in my memory

On an as-needed basis.

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I Beg to Differ

I am full of quirks

For instance

I dislike people asking for money to fund

Life, art, a honeymoon in San Cabo.

Go fund my ass.

It feels like begging to me.

Although I once begged for a living

I admit.

It was on the streets of Haight-Ashbury

I was living in a commune around the corner with

Peter and the baby and some other folks

Getting by on welfare while Peter

Listened to music and got high.

So I panhandled for cigarette money, baby slung on my hip

And asked people walking by

Any spare change?

It was not a bad way to make a little extra but

Honestly it was a lot of work.

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