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Author, Jae Malone, holds copyright to all poems; art copyright of artists
Jae's Poem for August 1, 2006
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New World Order
Walking along the Manayunk canal,
late afternoon sun, filtering through naked trees,
bounces off bricks, stuccoed walls,
boarded back windows,
all standing like an akimbo past,
watching our merry progress.
I wonder if trains still traverse the trestle?
The child I was would have taken their whistles
But times then were different,
before these factories became warehouses for fantasy,
before trendiness was invented.
My grandfather once worked in a place like this was.
He'd never even contemplated cappuccino,
never tasted escargot, or eaten greens from a crustade.
The mortar of his life
was meat and potatoes,
such buildings meant sweat,
and this light that moves my heart to poetry,
sang to him
of quitting time.
You can't be pure at fifty
like you can at twenty.
Nature won't let you.
She does to your dreams
what she does to your skin,
causing you to change
your whole notion of beauty.
Relinquishing the reigns to darkness,
Day, heaves a grateful sigh,
slips off its shoes and wriggles its toes.
The mantle of should is removed
and hung neatly in the closet next to the coats.
With the infinite patience of poverty-stricken women,
the undone waits on line,
invisible, ignored, forgotten,
as mind loosens its belt and exhales,
claiming adult privilege
while leaving adult responsibility
balled up on the floor with the socks.
No longer being chased,
the moment has time to contemplate its reflection.
Reality takes off its necktie and stretches.
In the silence that follows, life pours itself a drink
and takes a tender sip
of the wondrous nectar that resides
at the heart of nothing special.
Blowing in the Wind
I sat tonight in sound softly echoing another age
that was so long in coming, and then crept away
like smoke sliding out a window.
Hipness, now hackneyed,
smiled from a stage.
Nothing really had changed
except for me,
and, of course,
Summer suckles sweat
that beads upon my lip
a sticky brine
pasted wet with girlish cotton,
longing for the kiss of water
or the cool, tender nibble of the wind.
Eyes meet and flash.
He catches her zing and throws it back.
His spirit runs wild on the mountain.
How tall in the grace of her gaze he stands,
Yes tickling through him
like nimble fingers on a key board.
Ah, the sublime moment of a tender graze
of shine across a table.
Next to him watching
sits she who also knows the tingle of his look,
who catches yet another flavor
from the fling of his desperate outpouring.
Her eyes cast about for a place to rest,
the muscles in her face doing their best,
she fiddles with her drink,
wondering why he doesn't think
of how small the moment makes her.
I played it without thinking
that you'd come seeping in on its strains
pulling a piece of me back through a pinhole
to a leather-brushed cheek and a laugh.
Music shines as a sun on the senses,
casting their shadows in flickers of flavor,
moments caught on the tip of a tongue.
Forbidden both touching and turning away,
never again will I hear this song sung
with ears that are fully my own.