(3 Friend Poems, circa 1990s)
Michael’s Doilies, Revisited
“Don’t put a doily on my plate, please,” proclaims Michael, as he orders a slice of hot cinnamon-apple pie.
“No doily? And why not?” I muse, as Michael gingerly places two fingers on the piece of pie, testing warm-readiness.
Ah, yes, I now see the doilies slipped under the food served at this book-and-coffee shop. The (seemingly) innocuous, lacy, frilly, starched, white paper doilies Michael is so facinated-by-I-mean-adverse-to. Pontificating on the evils of doilies, he gesticulates wildly, jumping up, swinging his arms in great sweeping thrusts, grunting and sputtering and raging against doilism, which, by the way, is real and is a real threat against adoilism, which, by the way, is real…
Michael continues – that scourge heathen pox on the face of the Earth, prim, proper, Victorian, laced-boot, powdered-bosom symptom of all that is bound and gagged and constricted and placed just-so, and snooty-nosed and white-gloved and corseted with powdered bosoms shoved up and spilling-out-over-the-top heaving and jutting…
I imagine, as Michael deftly tears into the hot cinnamon-apple pie, ensnaring the lace filigree with the tines of his probing fork, ripping and rending the delicate paper, thrust and tally, flinging steaming forkfuls of pie in every direction.
I look at Michael – face flushed, chest heaving, eyes wide, ah, yes, I must excuse myself to compose…
To doily or not to doily?
Michael was uncharacteristically quiet after I read this to him.
MEET FREE CAKE
outside your door
haggard hungry feral felines line
up waiting wanting your scrounged scraps
sacrificed fetus with placenta in return
wood worn smooth underfoot
bare stained feet
your foot propped up on Fool’s leg to grey water wash
fresh food-free at last dishes
over my head
lone chartreuse buzzard flaps
spins on beak
balanced on apex of my “hello kitty”
outside your door
larvaled caked compost to dote upon
sprouts green growing grains
oh the pain of it all
Teri didn’t seem to appreciate this one as much as I thought she would.
He appears before me at the bus station, materializes vivid and vibrating in the cold ice air smiling, gleaming, his face a network of scars and lines.
He seems so happy to see me.
He is a real life cartoon character hopping and shifting from foot to foot, pacing, sashaying on this season’s fix of choice.
“It was either jail, rehab, or the homeless shelter,” he quips, winking and bouncing. An overgrown bobblehead. So I’m staying at the mission,” he boasts.
I obligingly give him a wide-eyed nod. Silent.
A raggedy old man shuffles past. I see them exchange familiar glances.
“Do you like it?” I offer. Oblique.
He grins at my cliche.
“It beats the streets,” he chirps on cue.
A bus pulls up to the terminal, screeching and groaning.
“Will you ever stop?” I wonder. Aloud.
He squints over my shoulder and studies an imaginary locus on the terminal wall.
“No,” he casually throws over his shoulder as he boards the bus.
I never read this to Mark.
I’m consumed with an upcoming move (for real this time) and a massive editing deadline, so this blog is on hiatus until NaNoWriMo (November 1).
Have a spooky fall, and a surreal Halloween!