I would respect myself more
if I didn’t talk to myself so much of the time.
I don’t mean out loud, I mean in my head:
Blah blah this, blah blah that,
as if I’m to add a running commentary
to everything. What a waste!
is the blue meat loaf of the human condition.






They are so slow in this town
that people drive around with one headlight.
They take the other out and keep it at home
because there is no place to buy another one.
You have to go to the next town,
and people don’t do that here.
So you and I will go around to their homes
and buy up headlights. Then we will mount them
in the park on the telephone poles and big trees.
When the wind and rain come
-- and they will be here soon and stay a long time,
making folks mean as worn knives--
that’s when we will tell the townspeople,
even the thin-eyed ones who promise to beat us up.
We will tell them to come to the park in their cars
for a happy evening on a heavy night.
You know what I mean by a heavy night
because you grew up around here.
You’re used to all the broken ladders.
You don’t think people will come, I know
because they are ornery. They will come because
they are ornery, and because they are bored as blisters.
Some people will come just to show off
how mean they can be. Right then, in the heavy night,
we will turn the headlights on
and watch the rain fly up in the trees and poles
and fly down, and sideways too. We will tap
the driver’s window of each car,
and when they roll the window down,
hand them bowls of chili and party treats.
Watch, they will embrace
the bright beauty in the black night.
The finest sliver of lit rain,
they will point it out and hound us
until we look and nod and agree.






She says she hasn’t changed,
says I’m just thick, got dumb eyes, my eyes
falling all over her.
What color are her eyes anyway? She smiles
and the color
changes. What did you say? she asks me,
turning away, when I didn’t say
a thing. Not a thing.
Just as I am about to say something, she turns back
and looks at me,
then away.
She rolls her hair
along her shoulders. That’s what she does
when she knows I’m watching.
Watch, when she turns now,
how big
she makes her eyes!
Do that again
I want to say,
Do it all afternoon.





  Do you recall the story in the L.A. Times
about the fellow who decided to greet the space shuttle
on its return to earth.
He fastened a Sears lawn chair to a balloon,
strapped himself in
and took a rifle in case he had to shoot himself down.
Coming down, he managed to tangle in telephone wires
near a freeway. Traffic stopped.
He blew kisses.
The police cut him down.
From the back of the squad car,
the fellow offered everyone the victory V.
The crowd honked and fired off safety flairs.
At the newspaper interview, he praised the Sears lawn chair.
Sears, apparently surprised, had no comment.
I do. I hope the guy’s O.K.
I mean, his marbles must have rolled around a little.