Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nonnie Gets Her Fill, Drago Confesses

Nonnie Gets Her Fill, Drago Confesses

I was going on and on about the Palm Beach Poetry Festival-telling my brother Drago about the poets, the poetry craft talks, the poetry readings, the poetry workshops, the poetry parties, and repeating every single compliment I received on my own poetry-well, one poem.  Then, between bites of whole grain spaghetti or salad, I described the hotel, the five blocks of Delray Beach I walked 36 times, the weather, my drive down there and back from Panama City, which I stretched to two days each way, and my lunch with Yvette, who’s been an online friend from Zoetrope and later The Linnet’s Wings for five years. And of course, I let Drago know all about my workshop leader-funny, charming, erudite, handsome, talented, encouraging, thoughtful, forthright, married, too-young anyway, Vijay Seshadri.  The other two men in our morning group of 12 were great, but 24 (way young, alas) and 82 (and with his wife.) There were other poetic men that I might have fallen in love with for the week, but they were gay, or made a point of mentioning their wives early in conversations.  So, no romance for me, which was, in fact, fine.

When I stopped talking, because my mouth was worn-out, (I have Myasthenia gravis, and I don’t drink anymore, so I’m not the talker I once was) Drago said, “Allen Ginsberg and I screwed.”

I stared…and slumped a bit.

“Just once.  He’d been after me for a while. A little pushy, even. Interesting man, though.  We had some great conversations about poetry.  So, one night we did it in my apartment.  I closed my eyes, I think.”

“Huh,” I said.  Then Drago did the dishes (I’d cooked) and I went to see what was on Turner Classic Movies.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Around the next corner is a dark green door
a dark green door with a diamond-paned window
a diamond-paned window with opaque yellow glass
the yellow glass glows from dim dusty lights
those lights cast long shadows on the tables and bar
on the mahogany bar trays of olives and onions
olives and onions and wedges of fruit
wedges of fruit and beyond them a mirror
an old barroom mirror and shelves filled with bottles
shelves filled with bottles colored like gemstones
colored like gemstones or clear as pure water
clear as pure water, but vodka and gin
vodka and gin, tequila and whiskey
tequila, whiskey, and rum in the glasses
raised by the drinkers through the bright afternoon
through the bright afternoon their eyes glaze like glass
the opaque yellow glass in the diamond-paned window
the diamond-paned window in that dark green door
that dark green door that has opened for them,
is open for them, but closed for me.
I've sworn it, sweet Jesus, closed for me.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


Wayne was making a ham sandwich
when Mae set her sizable self at the table.
I’d like one, too, Mae said.
Why, sure baby.  We can eat and talk.
I don’t like to talk. It gives me stress-
you know I’m depressed. Family curse.
But hon, did you know our son got him a gun?
He told me. He can.  He’s a full-grown man.
That may be Mae, but it’s long been plain
our boy’s insane.
Why say that Wayne? Damn.  You drag me down.
Dwayne's just fine; he’s high-strung that's all.
Let him be and you’ll see
that he’ll be okay with that gun.
Same as anyone. Is my sandwich done?