Monday, May 27, 2013

poemS of the day 05.27.13

memorial day

i told her we should
go to the park and have
a picnic.
she told me i hated picnics,
which is true.
picnics and parades
and kids and dogs
and disney and
the 4th of july and
football sundays
and people who talk to me
in bars when all i want is
a drink.
but it was worth a shot.
the summer was coming
already the cats were laying
on the linoleum in a heat-induced
it was getting harder to fuck,
burning and sweating until
we had to pour water on each
other’s assholes just to
settle down.
in a month the apartment
would be unbearable.
we had to get out and do something
now, i thought.
maybe we could just walk up
and down elmwood avenue,
going only into the air conditioned shops
but you hate people and shopping too, she said.
which was also correct.
so we opened up a couple of bottles
of cheap wine,
then the 12 pack of yuengling,
pulled down the shades,
and didn’t answer the phone.
we watched a couple of bad movies,
and fell asleep before the sun went down.
it was a good holiday


ballgame with my old man

i’m going to the ballgame with my old man

two arthritic knees
and our bad shoulders are coming along

i hope that our team jersey wins

i’m going to the ballgame with my old man

my allegiances stitched on hats and shirts
thwarting a stadium full of angry fans

we aren’t on our home turf

i’m going to the ballgame with my old man

we have our wives with us
and they don’t mind coming along

i’m going to the ballgame with my old man

it’s memorial day
in the united states

and i’m thinking that it’s
been a while since my old man and i
saw a ballgame together

we’re drinking cheap beer
in a ballpark steakhouse
taking photos as country songs are piped in

remembering what it was like
when he took my brother and i
to games when we were children

my brother and i
are hot dogs and cokes
in the memory of the humid pittsburgh sun

i’m going to the ballgame with my old man

we’ve already been
to the top of the empire state building
and all over manhattan

we went to katz’s for
corned beef sandwiches

i still have an okay job
but my old man paid

still i can buy him
beer and dinner
italian food in brooklyn
whenever i want

i can get him all of the hot dogs
and cokes that he needs

i don’t know if that matters

he won’t even take the lemonade
that comes in a souvenir cup

i’m going to the ballgame with my old man

we’re sitting in the nosebleed seats
like in the old days
checking out scoreboard america
and watching all of those expensive ants
shag fly balls out in center field

trying to figure out who’s who
with our aging eyes

as military bands play at home plate
and people file into their seats
with plastic cups of beer
and cheese covered nachos

everyone looks happy
and for a change, i don’t care

because i’m at the ballgame with my old man

and damn if i don’t feel
like a kid again.



she says, you hate tradition, don’t you

i tell her that i hate it from auld lang syne
all the way down to silent night

she says, you’re nuts
you just don’t want to like what others like

i tell her that may be so, but i’ll be damned if i choke
on another thanksgiving turkey
or memorial day hot dog again

she says, you won’t have a choice

i tell her i know
i’m trapped in a situation perpetuated by fools

easter ham in april
and fireworks every fourth of july

she says, tradition makes people happy
that it gives them something to look forward to

i tell her that tradition makes people complacent and dull

she says, go hang on a string of christmas lights
and i tell how about a cross instead

there’s something wrong with you, she says

i’m just like everyone else, i tell her
now give me a pint of green beer and a red heart full of chocolate
carve me into a pumpkin
and wake me when it’s election day

she says, there’s just no talking to you

i tell her that many have tried and failed

so i guess you won’t be coming to my next oscar party, she says

nor your labor day barbeque, i add

impossible, she says, getting up
and storming into the cafeteria

where they serve a mean fish fry
to the devout and hungry
every friday afternoon
during lent.


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