—Anonymous Photos of Springtime in Paris
Everything seems more dire at night
demons climbing in
through the walls creeping across the ceiling:
can’t pay the bills or lose weight,
the pain in my knees and back,
car acting up, toilet leaking,
grubs in the lawn,
is my wife on match.com?
Must remember not to think
about any of that at night, only during the day
because for some reason it is easier
to say “the hell with it”
when the sun is shining.
Told my artist friend
that he paints because he must paint
the muse demands it.
There isn’t money or fame but it’s who
he is, he has no choice. And even though
I’m in a similar position
with my poetry I feel worse for him
because he’s dedicated
his entire life to living
the poor artist’s life hoping some reward
would come after all that deprivation.
Whereas I’ve never had any illusions,
managed a conventional middle-class life
so what you see is what you get.
Sad, but always interesting (and sometimes fun)
watching billionaires and giant corporations
tearing each other apart in the news.
Incessant squabbling, backbiting, lawsuits.
How much money do you need?
How many houses can you live in?
How many cars can you drive?
Amazing they are never satisfied,
never seem to get enough.
As for me
I’m a simple man
walk the dog, have a coffee with the wife
text my son living in California
and sleep at night with a clear conscience
and accepting the fact that
you can’t take it with you.
So my old buddy Rick sends me
a picture of himself,
his gorgeous wife and two strapping sons.
He’s still handsome, of course,
stylish, has all his hair
and he’s debonair,
always was such a classy guy.
He’s made some money: vacation home
and 2 boats, bought his mom a house.
We worked together
back in the day but look at me:
turning down the heat,
reusing plastic bags,
wife cuts my hair,
I mow my own lawn,
saving a few bucks here and there.
But! Has Rick seen Paris in the spring?
AGAINST THE GRAIN
When you feel you need to make a change
a big change in your life
when you want to make a change
but you don’t know what or how
what do you do?
Just pick something and do it, the Devil laughs.
Doesn’t matter what?
Change is change. He stops pacing.
Let me help you out.
Do something big! For example,
become celibate or gay or a political activist
or a dog breeder or a gun lover or—
and this is an interesting idea—
stop writing poetry, it sucks anyway,
take up another hobby instead:
golf, gardening, stamp collecting,
raise ferrets, play the tuba, anything
just do something please!
For the love of God (and the Devil)
and he stomps out of the room
shaking his head just like always.
Him and his dramatic exits, so predictable.
Just don’t let the devil use your mind as a garbage dump.
—Medusa, with many thanks to Michael Estabrook for today’s fine poems, and for giving me a springboard to post beautiful photos of springtime in Par-ee!
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