I used to go down to the pond at the end of our street to write poems about dragonflies the way Monet would go down to his garden at Giverny to paint water lilies.
The only difference was that dragonflies didn’t stay still like waterlilies did. They dashed and darted about the pond at 100 ks an hour. Even when they had sex they had it on the wing coupling like planes fueling mid- flight. You had to admire them though they were devilish to tie down.
I almost got one once when a dragonfly dawdled on the front doorknob one drowsy afternoon, after summer rains, then saw me and took off, its gossamer wings flashing rainbows.
I have just written a poem.
I read it to my granddaughter.
“Hey! Great last line,” she says.
“But what about the rest of the poem?” I say.
“Great last line”
I go back to the poem.
Read it a few times.
It is a great last line.
So what I do is this: I jettison the rest of the poem and keep
the last line,
I read it a few times.
I read it to her.
I read it again.
It seems to lack something,” she says.
So I put the poem back together like it was and read it to her.
“Great last line,” she says.
You got to feel sorry for single white rolls.
Even in packs they can’t make a go of it.
Maybe they should take a good hard look
consult relationship experts like couples
on Married …
or search for roll-mates on Tinder.
There must be someone out there.
If ‘Baked Fresh’ doesn’t confer any advantages
I don’t know what does.
Even when consumed they die alone.
It must be a lonely existence.
Get yr feet off the table I was told.
Get yr feet off the pouf.
And I thought, what the ^%$#@ ?!?!
What does it even matter if I dangle my feet
from the chandeliers?
What’s feet got to do with it anyway?
But somehow they alwats march in.
I often start off on the wrong foot these days
Step on people’s dignity
Tread on their toes
Or worse put my foot in my mouth
A mean anatomical feat if ever there were one.
So now I keep my feet firmly on the ground
Close to each other
And far enough from my mouth as possible.
This seems to keep people happy.
I saw a sparrow hop across the carpet
in the library
toward the Express Collection Shelf.
I flicked my head
like an illusionist’s cape
& it was gone.
I went back to the article about Stevie Van Zandt
& his Summer of Sorcery Tour
& the sparrow
With another flick of my head
into a series of tan dots — & dashes.
Time to head off
to the optometrist again.
It’s not the big ones
like walking on water
that interest me
But the little ones
like walking freely,
doing gym again
being able to hear
without ear surgery,
able to love again
without the king’s men
to put me together;
the body’s palliative care unit
working in unison.
You can’t swat it.
Shut it out.
Tell it to sit. Stay.
It’s in yr brain.
Friends, fellow writers
That first flicker of success
The green frog of envy.