Era

03om12jumpPerhaps we are all born in the right era

growing up regretful we did not come of age

when life was better

the tinge of past tense

greener fields and sentiment

but should we care to revisit them

time shows we are all here when we should inherit our turn

for children of today

do not wish to sit sloppy and long gaited sharing close space

our communication and intimacy has barriers

we have not learned to be comfortable with intrusion

going about our lives unmolested

I could not have endured the proximity

continual chatter and energy required of those

born without headphones and opt outs

they knew how to socialize

crammed on sweating buses before air conditioning

whilst I believe

had I been born in an early century

I’d have taken myself away and reverted

back to the iron age

becoming a mineral underneath earth

where excited hands could pound

their fists of enthusiasm

for I have no wish to be

celebratory or illuminated

more than the passing of one year to next

it is in the quiet avoidance I find most pleasure

those born in times of chatter and noise

rationed by over-head bombs

heralding progress, talking to strangers

you think the world unfriendly now and it is

when it came our time

everyone went quiet

the buses were empty

just a book here and there lay

bent at the spine and unread

for we who keep our windows shuttered

do not wish to join the throng

but sing in lilac trees over looking

the quiet fish pond

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Polemic

Girls Doing Handstands, Southam Street, London 1956

A polemic once

mapped the world and

chambers of the heart

declaring

men love men three percent proof

and women love women

once or never

It explained the empty feeling in the bars

girls playing boys hitting balls into green pockets

It explained why gay men swelled in number

disco fever, why did they smell so much better?

is it nature or nurture?

testosterone in the womb or green enchiladas?

is it birth order or red hair?

left-handedness or playing Barbie too long with your sisters?

was it the color purple or your best friend Michael

showing each other what you had beneath the lilac tree

screaming and shouting FRANKFURTER!

at the top of your lungs

running as fast as you could

a natural instinct

the adults

drinking Pims Number One

look up briefly with reddened lips

boys will be boys

and girls will be girls

they nod all-knowing

knowing nothing

of the sum and the handspan

found only in the dial and fragile turn

of wonder

Repulsion & ardor

loureedraven2Precious are the elongations of memory

snipping at reality for tidbits

they hunger to define in sandwiched package

the yawn of years gone before

whether accurate or without merit

their lingering retains the outline of past

whimsical to those who know death lingers

around some foresaid door

give them no heed if baseless they expect

your devotion and belief

what we recall is not always the delight

or squalor of things past but of effort made

to put sense in formation

let it take flight and show us

why then we made no mystery

of our repulsion and our ardor