Lessons of Layman P’ang Part 1


I grip the handle tight
and pull, meditating
on the summer fatalities
I’m hauling west in a kid’s
rusted red wagon.

I wasn’t rich, but sure
was foolish with money.
No one left thirsty.
I hung on to clothes
and they returned
as retread fashions.
But, always the way,
the best blouses
I left in the early morning
with the worst lovers.

They see the grey hair
and expect me to teach them
why this word, not that.
If I knew, I’d tell them.
That’s the lie I use
to shoo them away.
Cool beats down like heat,
although old shiverers deny it.
I’ve had Januarys pummel
my bad shoulder
like any August on Saturn.

I don’t have enough
to shove onto the river.

Anyway, I don’t want to
or have a few volumes
get swallowed

by prominent fishes.

That’s what you say,
That’s what you say,
That’s what you say,
After a few drinks
That’s what you say
After a few more drinks
That’s what you say
You’re always saying
What you don’t know

Ink stained paradise
written on stones
verses, rants, poetry
of the ages
your’s and mine

Language eludes me
words hide in plain sight
like a perpetually
green leaf
autumn reaches for

cat. cat. cat.
up all hours
except those
that count
in my life

Shuffle the deck
the ardent
card players
told me
because I think
it’s just a game

Picture’s askew
books tipping off
their mighty shelves
the train passes by
clattering to hell

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