In Venice walking takes on
a whole new meaning:
the abruptness of the right turn,
the obliqueness in the left,
the straight on for a bit,
the step up, the step down, and that
always glance for the prospect of a view.
Water, suddenly interrupts; that cool,
placid, rolling drunkenly in the canals
green water, where on this November day
there is somewhat more than necessary.
So you climb aboard the passarelle
to take you above the acqua alta.
But you have your wellingtons
per fortuna, and are happy
to stand in a flooded passage
to eat that picniced lunch
fresh from the supermercato.
Alas, no seat, no bench to recline on
anywhere, absent from public places,
to ward off I vagabondi.
You stand or move, walk and turn,
then at the lagoon’s edge:
go back and back and back
again - by another way.
In ’68 Hutch and me,
Sitting at the bar drinking
Our third cold beer.
In a semi Fern Bar
In Laguna or Newport Beach
Which now, I’m not sure.
It was around eight or so,
A week day night,
The place more empty than not.
She came in alone, made
Entry like the dramatic host of
A TV show. As if she were the
Center piece on the worlds
Thanksgiving Dinner Table.
Over dressed to the nines,
Lots of color, heavy make up
She didn’t really need.
Her perfume scent hovered
Around her like a cloud of insects
On a hot summer night in a wet meadow.
Kind of made my eyes water up.
She perched daintily like a dancer,
Upon a bar stool,
Three empty stools down,
Nodded the bartender her regular order.
A martini, a double it was,
With but a dab of vermouth.
One green olive on a stick.
The glass was pre-chilled as if
It had been waiting only for her.
She pounded the first down,
Another stem glass appeared,
That one also quickly consumed.
Two bright red lipstick stains all that
Remained in or on the stemmed rim.
Her main task accomplished,
She audibly exhaled,
As if tired or relieved.
I could not tell which.
Turned around on her stool to face
Hutch sitting closest to her.
“You boys Marines.” She declared,
More than inquired.
Hutch just nodded, he never did say much.
A Sniper just back from Nam, a scary guy
Of few words.
She opened her fur trimmed cloth coat,
exposing two very nice stocking clad legs,
And just a quick flash of red underpants.
Rotating towards us so we got a better view.
She announced her name,
like we should know it.
Our blank stares informed her we didn’t.
Her face was to me, somewhat familiar.
From movies in the 40s or 50s.
We were early 20 guys, she much older,
Trying hard to look younger, not succeeding.
Soon she was sitting right next to Hutch,
Two more Martini stems had come and gone,
Her lipstick finger prints upon them.
And still Hutch had not spoken more than
Three or four words.
She bought us a pitcher of brew,
Hutch grunted a short bit of gratitude.
We did not have to say much, she was in charge.
It was all about her, she rambled on and on
Speaking volumes saying not much at all.
Beating back her crushing obscurity,
With flowery reminiscence recall,
Of glory days then long gone away.
Important for the moment, if only to her.
It was all; “me and I, I did this, I was that,
I slept with him,
And him and him”.
How about so and so? I asked,
“No Darling not him, he was gay!
It was not long and she was touching Hutch.
On the hand, the shoulder, she was working him
With languid hungry looks from her big blue eyes,
And the message could not have been plainer,
Had she held up a hand lettered sign.
I don’t believe she was a “Working Girl”,
Just someone very lonely seeking to find
Herself, and some company for the night,
All to prove that she was still alive.
Looking at her, I could only think,
How sad and pathetic she looked,
How desperate her plight.
To humble herself so,
In that dingy bar, among strangers,
She did not know, Acting yet, still
On the only stage she could find,
Staring in her own bad ‘B’ movie drama.
In that dingy smelly bar.
Hutch and her left after a hour or so,
He never told me much about it.
He was unofficially AWOL for three days.
I covered for him, kept his name off the
Missing Morning Formation Reports
and the Duty List.
No one cared to check. Our unit made up
Of mostly guys back from the war,
A pretty loosie goosy outfit.
Once in a while I see an old movie,
most are Black and white, Film noir stuff,
And there she is, a much Younger her,
Looking pretty damn good,
Not real big roles they were,
Playing some damsel in distress,
A mobster’s gun moll,
Or unhappy Play Girl.
I guess it was type casting that done her in.
Or maybe she got a little too long in the tooth..
A sad ending to a short B movie career.
Life ain’t easy, even for a so called “movie star”.
Fame is not all it’s cracked up to be.
one or twice, looking for Hutch. He told us to tell her that he had been
Shipped Out, when he actually hadn't. She no doubt found someone
else to tell her story to.
I saw that woman the other day on TV, an old film on Turner Classic Movies
doing her thing. I sort of wonder what ever happened to her, but refuse to
Google it to find out. Some information you don't need or what to know.
It did inspire this little Poem Noir write however.
Got a letter from Hutch in '70, we were both out of the Corps. He was
headed to the Arabian Desert as a hired gun, to guard some pipe line
operation. Have no idea what became of him after that. Hutch was
a real hard case, I hope he made out all right.
She had gorgeous eyes,
the kind of piercing-eyes
that can see right through you.
She had the kindest demeanor,
her tips were way up high,
had a feminine-form from Heaven.
I felt like she could read my mind,
as if she was soothing my heart,
controlling my breathing,
manipulating my blood flow.
I think she knew
my knees buckled a bit,
my breathing became quick and shallow,
my heart was thumping hard.
When she bumped up against me,
she knew I lost it,
she smiled and said,
“Son, you’re mine!”
She wasn’t joking………
The Island Moorea,
In the heat, the sun,
The rhythm of my footfalls
crunching loose gravel road,
The swish of pack swaying
in consort to my measured pace.
Breeze pushing branches of Palm,
Ocean waves breeching shore line long.
Island vehicles passing, occupant's laughing,
a man laboring under large pack, alone walking,
Who could have been freely riding.
Something unthinkable to Island Folk,
in hot tropical places.
Passed along the way several humble homes,
Greetings exchanged with smiling people there.
Not long afterwards, new sound approaching,
crunching gravel, rolling up behind me.
A lovely young girl, perhaps still a teen,
long brown naked legs peddling a bike.
Hair jet black, long to her waist, wearing
a sarong, split up the side,
Shoulders bare and brown.
Dark eyes of wonder, sparkling of youth.
A radiant smile adorning her splendid face.
We went for a time at my even pace,
looking and smiling each in our place.
"Hello there" I said, she giggled, beamed
even bigger. Perfect teeth displayed.
"Why you walk?" She asked in puzzlement.
"To get to where I'm going". I replied
This response producing a pleasant laugh
from the girl. In which I too joined in.
"You go One Chicken?" She asked
I stopped then and turned to her.
"Where is One Chicken?" I questioned
with a grin.
She raised her graceful arm,
one finger pointing up the road.
"One Chicken there." she informed.
It was a store/bar, sort of place,
In the very midst of nowhere.
Indeed more than merely one chicken roamed,
Many chickens were and a pig or two, as well.
All mingling free and doing their thing.
We entered from out of the bright daylight,
into the deepest of darks,
Like in a movie theater you arriving late.
Eyes adjusting slowly to what lay ahead.
A few Island Beers later,
I had acquired several new friends,
The girl my invitation to the party of
already happy people a little drunk on beer.
The Music was mostly of French persuasion,
With a bit of Bob Dylan thrown in.
The Beatles also had a tune or two.
The Liverpool beat resounding down Tahiti way.
Before the light did fail, I shouldered my pack
and walked some distance from Chickens and Pigs.
Found the beach, hung my Hammock for the night.
Built a small fire and opened a can of Spam.
She appeared again about ten,
looking beautiful in the new moon light.
She had washed her hair,
still damp and smelled fresh of Lilacs,
Or some such aromatic scent.
We did not speak, no words were needed,
Made love on the sand, 'till the retreat of the
tide and sand crabs did come out, in their
eerie numbers, to eat what was at hand.
I suppose even us if we let them.
We retired then both to my hammock,
A pretty neat trick if you can swing it.
And we did.
She was so child like and yet,
very much a woman grown.
There was no pretense shown,
no false inhibitions rendered.
These were not limitations of her culture.
A people that live by their emotional impulses.
An open and free spirited people living
passionately within each minute.
It all felt more akin to a dream than real,
All around me there was beauty,
Loving and being loved without hurry,
Free of guilt or even a single expectation.
Living in that wondrous moment,
of uncomplicated human splendor.
Like some Garden of Eden surrender.
In the morning we swam in the sea,
frolicked like kids having a day at the beach.
Made love in the sand, I dozed in the sun.
Upon my awaking she was gone.
I waited an hour or two, packed up my camp,
shouldered my load and returned to the road.
A few minutes later, again I heard the now
familiar crunch of rubber tires,
rolling road surface and there she was,
a straw basket in her Bike's basket,
A huge smile on her unforgettable beautiful face.
We sat in a grove of trees,
among birds singing, insight of the sea,
Upon a Palm log and ate fresh bread and
fruit, drank strong black coffee (French Roast
I presume,) nibbling some marvelous cheese.
We tried to talk, but she understood little of
what I tried to say, my French was nearly
nonexistent, only adding to confusions sake .
She leaned her head on my shoulder,
the way lover's do and tenderly held
my hand within her two,
As if not wanting to let go,
Those gestures said all there was to say,
And we savored each silent moment.
We parted there, she on blue, rusty bike
and me on "shanks mare",
Off in two different directions,
Each out into the depths of our own lives,
Gone just like that. . . And yet,
Indelible, never to be forgotten or replaced.
Moorea do yet visit me, in dreams as real as can be. She never
grows old, nor does the beauty we shared for that one brief moment
in time immortal.
Someplace among the Islands of Tahiti there is a woman in her late fifties,
most likely a Mother, even by now a Grandmother. I hope she recalls as
fondly the American blond man with the big Orange Backpack, that in 1972
she meet upon the road, near "One Chicken" and loved freely and completely
for two days and a night, as that man does so fondly remember her.
I'm no poet, you all are poets. I'm just an old guy with memories and
little stories to tell. Thanks for letting me share.
Love thy neighbour, so the Bible says
But dont covet his wife it will get you in strife!
Don't look at her body when she calls
Ignore her curves and her beconing calls
Your wife suggested you helped her out
Does she really now what its about?
That day you called when he was out
It wasn't those tools it was all about
All so innocent till she touched your chest
It went downhill and then to bed
A frantic tryst one afternoon
Cries off passion and moans were heard
Then hubby came home and saw you there
The game was up amongst other things
Two marriages ruined and a family split
All for the sake of a bit of "it"
For the wife had watched and often seen
The postman or the huge marine
She had plans all her own
And saw the means to make them so
Sow the seed and watch it grow
A perfect plan to get divorced
All she needed to pull it off
Was for them to be caught
A perfect plot
She hadn't planned on the neighbours anger
When he saw another bang her
So both barells he loosed into them
And sent upstate for murder two
Far more than her plan had ever required
And now no alimony as hubby died!!
So love thy neighbour is all well and good
Just don't get caught if your stupid enough!
You sway a bit as you struggle to hold onto the match in your hands.
Refusing to meet my eyes as you strike it and lay it down.
Together we watch the flames begin to grow
Inching their way across
My hands stay tied behind my back
As you disappear in smoke.
And the last words you hear me whisper:
"are you sure?"
Because of that moment, you were led here,
If that had not happened, this wouldn't be
Everything happens, making other things clear
Just never woulda guessed that you'd be so important to me
Simple little actions, fingertip movements, linked us into conversation
An open bridge was built that night for our souls to travel across freely
Emotionally jumped into each others' soulful arms, without hesitation
Each message read was like a piece of our heart that we were inadvertently stealing
Every time your face popped up on my screen,
My heart would nearly skip a beat
Right now, many miles lay inbetween
But in roughly two weeks our bodies will finally meet.
Already in you I've let myself be vulnerable, comfortably
The pictures we paint with words depict something I can really see
I feel each slightest touch as if you were here enveloped in me, effortlessly
We've already raised each others' spirits and expanded frequencies
I think about you being here, or me there, frequently.
Thinking of hugging you instills a kind of peace in me,
Call it tranquility...simple pleasantries..call it anything..
~So long as it involves love~
You say I've done so much for you
But words are never enough.
Just symbols, to represent, stuff
Independent to the perspective
I just hope I symbolized meaning that was effective
How much I care.. I really meant it
Because if I didn't mean the content, I wouldn't have sent it
Hearts on the sleeves with arms extended
For any wound in your soul I wanna mend it.
Anything on your mind you can come to me and vent it.
I at least have a little bit of time left, I wanna come to you and spend it.
We're gonna have to take advantage of time spent, so to not regret it
Already deep within me you are embedded,
Talked so much in a short period, just know everything was true when I said it
Just as it is in the current, riding waves of light that'll promise us at least one night.
Frigid, snowy weather,
yet warm together~
It's our endeavor to better ourselves,
And I'll always be there for you when you need help.
I tend to move in stealth, but I make myself known.
My daydreams, embraced by you feels so at home.
If you're ever down, feeling alone
I'm here, pick up the phone, no matter the time zone
I'll send my electrified vibes flying through the air faster than a drone
some say it's tossed around too much,
But I say too little
They put rules and complications on it,
trying to find an answer to the riddle
I told you I could say it to strangers
But it's hard, romantically speaking,
as if there's impending danger.
But if the feeling's true we shouldn't waiver
For there's no guaranteeing there'll be a later
Even though right now I'm feeling blue,
I have nothing but love for you,
You make me think of brighter colors
Meshing energies like long lost lovers
She was not a cliché kind of beautiful,
but she was not a ‘rare’ kind of beautiful.
She was humanly beautiful, in the most natural way.
She was earthly though she didn’t mean to be, it came easily to her without effort.
She was intelligently beautiful, with wit and charm that came smoothly.
It didn’t make her intimidating though, no no, never.
She was kindly beautiful, in the way that
someone could slap her and she would retaliate with only gentleness,
but that did not make her vulnerable, it made her mature.
But most of all, as many may of seen it, she was physically beautiful.
Not in the sense of a perfect body and flawless features, no, she was beautiful to look at
because her face radiated all her other beauties.
You could see her charm in the way her eyes dazzled, and you could sense her wit in the way
she smirked before she said something.
Her always blushed cheeks eternally made people around her feel comfortable, even if
they disliked her..
for she was understanding and soft, like a young girl.
And lastly, she was beautiful appearance wise.
Though she was not perfect, for the boy didn’t have a definition for that yet,
he found her peaking towards it.
Her smile was not one of a model or an angel.
In fact, in his eyes, her worst feature was her smile, as horrid as it sounded.
To the boy, she had never smiled.
Everytime she laughed or ‘smiled’ as someone greeted her, she looked pained..
like she wanted to cry.
Her smiles were never real, though he knew she wanted them to be genuine.
That was the thing, she was genuine, but her smiles were not.
He knew, as much as she denied it, that her smiles were always forced and never true.
He knew this in the only way one knows when they’re in love.
He’d watched for countless nights as she reached her fantasies, sitting by herself,
books scattered around her as she read her favourite fairytales for the hundreth time.
He watched as she giggled over the same jokes and cried over the same deaths,
but he focused on her especially when she reached her favourite part of the story.
Her eyes would brighten and her shoulders would rise slightly,
and she’d do this silly little thing where she would put her tongue in between her teeth,
that drove him mad, but he grew to love it.
And at last he had seen her smile, as her soft dimples appeared at the corners of her mouth,
and her eyes crinkled ever so slightly, nose scrunching up the tiniest bit.
But just as he found himself getting lost in her beautiful smile, she would look up from her book and leave her world for a while, smile dropping and shoulders hunching as she told him
to get some rest, for every following day to her would be a long one.
And that was how he knew, the girl would never be in love like he was, she would never,
as understanding as she was, grasp that someone could possibly love as madly as he did.
She would never allow him to peek into her fantasies, let alone give him her heart.
But the boy was afraid she already had his in tight grip, and he would never have hers.
the snow is a reminder of how cold you were last winter
compassion is a common courtesy
of which you considerably lack
you will rue the day you bit your tongue instead of tasting mine
and repent the hours I lost carving your memory into my skin
I read the writing,
30 years old, or older.
My Grandmother wrote,
after a stroke.
it read just like
Now, what was written,
was a copy.
But 5 pages deep,
I was deeply
What a woman.
Pictures only show
me who you used to be.
Your husband used
to call me his girlfriend,
even on his deathbed.
I wanted to quit smoking,
in honor of you.
I cried a bit
at the library,
and just for an hour
I was taken away.
To touch the same paper
you put your pen to,
it truly was an honor.
your daughter is
here, to collect me.
Because that is all
it truly sucks me
And when I look at your
pretty pill bottle,
and try to make sense
of a cancer that made you
ill, how to glorify
a gust of sickly
pills, I am confused
by the nurse,
and the master.
I wish your subtle
be a bit more clear.
I'm confused by the
and saddened to see
myself to be just so
naive. Some tell me
that I'm 20,
a birthday tells me
Who bears the truth,
the truth within,
come out and say
hello, born to die,
don't you hide,
my hair is growing
old lengths once
it's a sign.