4 Poems (July)

One of Those Mondays

Yeah, it’s Monday and I’m wearing Levi’s to work,
missing the train that would mean being late by
fifteen minutes instead of a half hour. But, hey,

who’s keeping track of me anyhow—the kid dozing
in the corner in rainbow-skulled pants, eyes capped
tight with an unofficial, yellow-B’d Sox hat?

Hell.  Only at Back Bay, and the reader on my left is
inching his stupid leg over. Perversion at 10 a.m.?
I’d like this weekend’s rain back while winding along

cowpaths on the Common in this sunless humidity.
Considering the week’s beginning, I should be glum
today, but rising on the escalator, all I see is rainbow.

 

Hump Day

You don’t need a penny just to hang around.  But if you

have a nickel, won’t you lay your money down?

                                           –Creedence Clearwater Revival

 

Carrying a community with me—a galpal,

a publisher, a lover, all my friends who come

along for the ride—I’m going to nine to five.

 

…and, yeah, we all have dayjobs, pay bills,

tend gardens, volunteer, but I’ll be landing

at a pub tonight—nothing like a midweek beer.

 

Most of my coworkers aren’t artists.  I shuffle

some music, press breasts to the semi-read

chapbooks on the way to stack papers.

 

Earning a living one day at a time, I count

hours ‘til Brian and I visit margaritaville,

maybe see Jimmy Tingle again in a tizzy.

 

…and, yeah, I’m toting the words of a lover

on the train, in my dreams, to the swivelchair,

hoping the baggage won’t weigh me down.

 

(Removed for publication consideration) 

 

Enough, Already

[For Tina G.]

Ran out of time and money–looks like they took my friends.

                                           –Creedence Clearwater Revival

 

Cranking CCR to drown out the sounds

of summer whiners, cuz I hate the heat

enough already on my own, I stomp

 

at a pigeon—well, I’m just evil that way

–and this young girl, obviously disturbed,

wags her finger like I kicked a puppy.

 

Enough, already with nutcases on the T,

whack-job neighbors with gigantic bird

feeders, big bleeding hearts welcoming

 

all types of nature to my damned porch too.

A working girl deserves, for chrissake,

to come home from 40 hours to a view.

 

“Foreclosed…leads a mother to kill herself.”

Headlining the flippin’ Metro.  Man, I can’t

wait until the rain washes all this crap away.

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North Shore Writers’ Group

A new North Shore Writers’ Group (The Parlor) has formed, and I heard Hannah Tinti read from her debut novel The Good Thief in her native town Salem.  The setting is a fictional yet familiar-seeming New England town.  The main character reminds one of Johnny Tremain and a few good Dickens protagonists rolled into one. 

The talkshow-style format, in which the host asked the author questions before opening the floor for the usual Q&A made the reading interesting and inviting.  Sitting in the lovely Salem Athenaeum  surrounded by favorite 19th-Century New England authors’ work and portraits wasn’t exactly the worst way I’ve spent a Saturday either.

It never occurs to those of us from Greater Boston how isolated writers from farther off the beaten track must feel.  We who can hop on the T and stroll into workshops and a variety of other supportive writers’ groups are rather lucky.  This new group fills a void—in stylish fashion.