Forgive me. I am not myself today.
I wasn’t myself yesterday either.
To tell you the truth, I’m really uncertain whether I will be myself tomorrow.
Or the next day. Or the next.
Where I’ve gone to, I just don’t know.
I have informed the police, the Missing Person’s Bureau.
They have put out an all points alert.
I take time off work.
I go looking for myself in bars, parks, in shopping malls.
I take photographs of myself to show them what I looked like.
Ugly bastard, someone quips.
Go easy, I say. He’s not a bad bloke once you get to know him.
The rest shake their heads sadly.
I go home, hang my hat on the rack and sit down morosely on the old lounge.
Ahh, there you are, I say, almost sitting on top of me.
I was here all along, he says. Where have YOU been?
Not a flock of seagulls
Nor a murder of crows
But a petulance of poets
Gathered in the conference room
Of the public library
Each champing at the bit
For their turn to read
Not really listening
But when their turn comes,
Oh the words, the words,
Such melody, such sweetness, such wit.
Was ever anything ….
Barely noticing that many who had already read
Had gone home or hit the bar
down the street.
They rattle on regardless.
Where’s the stage manager when you need him?
* ‘They never listened to one another; they were preoccupied with waiting for their turn’ [Jean Stafford: ‘An Influx of Poets’]
It’s Milly’s birthday today.
Yes. But what do you buy a cat who has everything?
Yes. The next time she gets on the roof and can’t get down all she has to do is jump.
She crams characters
Into her novels like clowns
Jammed in jalopies
It’s in an optimistic place.
You can tell by the smiley face.
But multiplied some twenty times?
Such duplication seems a crime.
“It’s over the top. Visual excess.
One of you is enough”, my son-in-law says.
Will you turn off the f#@#ing faucet? Holly hollers. A hippo could drown in here.
But you’re not a real hippo.
A girl can dream, can’t she?
But you’re made of stone!
That’s a bit rich, isn’t it? Coming from a puppet made of wood who thinks its a boy!!
I tried writing a poem once about a running joke. It was just ahead of me as the best poems are. I sprang off my writer’s block and ran after it with my butterfly net and my blue bucket of hope; but I was out of condition and this one really had legs. It waved back to me as it disappeared in a cloud of dust over a nearby hill.
‘The tooth doesn’t seem to want to come,’ said the dentist.
‘I can see that,’ I said, holding grimly onto the chair.
‘Can you get up and give us a hand?’ he said.
‘What about your assistant?’
‘She’ll never be able to handle this. It’s a two-rooter.’
‘Okay, then,’ I said, hopping out of the chair. We both gripped the pliers, yanking together. It wouldn’t yield.
‘Could you put more oomph into it?’ he said.
So I gave it all I had and the dentist did too. We pulled and pulled and pulled. The dentist really had some biceps. Any minute now ….
Suddenly we fell backwards as the tooth yielded to superior force.
‘There, that did it,’ said the dentist pleased as I climbed back into the chair. ‘It’s amazing what a second pair of hands can achieve.’ he added holding up the bloodied tooth.
‘It certainly is,’ I said, blood streaming from my mouth.
I am reading an annoying little novel called ‘To The Lighthouse’.
I am on page 138 and they still haven’t got there — though they talk about it a lot: whether they will or they won’t and on what day they should venture forth? It is always the weather.
Hamlet, if he were written a few hundred years later, would have loved it. He was a ditherer too. There’s even a skull he could have addressed as ‘Alas. Poor Yorick’ though sadly it belonged to a sheep.
I’m getting tired of these people. They need a cattle prod applied to a certain part of their anatomy — though it may be it is not the book for me. I didn’t much like ‘Hamlet’ either.
You’re barking up the wrong tree, he said.
I don’t care, I snapped.
But you’re barking, he said. People don’t do that.
It’s my backyard, I said. I can bark if I want to.
I guess so, said the man, patting me warily on the head as I wagged my tail against his chinos.