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Wk kortas Dec 2021
Unlike the feted Ebenezer, our intangible visitors
Are not necessarily seasonal in nature,
Nor do they waft into scene
As the result of our direct malfeasance
(Sometimes the case, to be sure,
But more likely they are the stepchildren
Of our omissions rather than our commissions)
Coming among us not through wanton transgressions,
But the upshot of our mortality
And its associated failings,
And as they glide translucently among us
In this season where the darkness comes so early
(Yet the light clutching the western horizon
For an imperceptibly longer time each day)
Their presence may be somewhat more benign
If we are able to undertake the act
Of forgiving ourselves.
Wk kortas Dec 2021
Perhaps, dearest daughter, your continued absence
From these shores is very much a blessing
For even though your corporeal self
Resides an all but incomprehensible
Number of leagues away,
The occasional missive you deign to send
Serve as sufficient understudies for your particular role;
Indeed, one can almost feel the spittle
Rising as blunt instruments from the very pages themselves,

But then again, perhaps it is not so;
Not the odd angry recrimination
Sundry maddening, shrieking tales of woe
Blows which may not reach their destination
Though intended to mar the tend'rest spot
For even if perchance they reach their mark
These scattershot parries are all for naught,
For no matter what pains the barbed tongue bring,
The most **** pointed speech will fade in time;
Though slaps or scratches may utterly sting,
Such violence is not the ultimate crime.
'Tis the lack of your voice, or your foot-fall
Which is the unkindest cut of them all.
The Marquesa de Montemayor returns courtesy of the Thornton Wilder novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
Wk kortas Nov 2021
There were a surfeit of items
Sufficient to raise eyebrows or cause comment
Among the few staid members of the Mulligan clan:
The appearance of siblings or cousins assumed (or at least hoped)
To have preceded Thomas to the choir invisible
Two or three women genuinely surprised
To discover the existence of one another,
One young man with an extremely disconcerting resemblance
To his “Uncle Tommy”,
But the entire affair carried on with something akin
To the requisite solemnity
Until such point that a couple bottles appeared
(The consensus being that the good Mulligan
Had somehow found a way to secret them in)
The end result being the proceedings
Subsequently devolved into an Irish cop wake-esque teleplay,
And in the midst of this fol-de-rol, Tippy Phelan,
Who had framed walls for generic bank buildings
And grunted and swore while cobbling together
Unnecessary cupolas and wholly superfluous cornices
On the McMansions of the small town well-enough-to-do
With Tommy (as well as, on Friday lunch-times
During the slow season, sharing a thermos
Containing a mixture which drew narrow-eyed stares
From lenient if still unhappy foremen)
Stood the final toast for the good Mulligan,
Intoning There’s a land of the quick and the land of the lost,
The trick being to build a sturdy span between them
So it’s only proper that Tommy was a ****** fine carpenter
Wk kortas Oct 2021
All of my formal training, all of the years
Of study and sacrifice to hone my craft,
Failures and frustrations that brought me to tears…
I think of how I scoffed at sell-outs, and laughed
At the mere suggestion that I too would chase
The almighty dollar and forsake my art.
Ah, but now…it is painful to view my face
In the mirror, seeing one who plays the part
Of the simple buffoon, the mere one-note clown
Sent to warm up the rubes for the main event,
Performing rude pratfalls to bring the house down,
Animated reminders of my descent.
And now, my vocation a mere joke, bereft
Of merit or value, I exit, stage left
It is Friday afternoon, so do not judge too harshly.
Wk kortas Sep 2021
There was no romance per se,
Certainly nothing which would lead poets or philosophers
To hold their hats over their hearts in reverent awe,
Perhaps one or two de reiguer chestnuts,
But they both were bit players in a milieu
Where the hustle was the coin of the realm,
And the comfort of their pro tem cohabitation
Was strictly a surface thing;
Indeed, she stirred from half-sleep
To see him out of bed, already more than half-dressed,
(Not at all surprising, this being the time of day
Where such young men made their money,
Some package to be delivered or message relayed,
All in service of some crumpled-up tenner
Never missed by its purveyor
But life's blood to its recipient)
And she watched silently
As he sauntered over to the window
To where a group of boys were out well past
What would be considered bedtime out in the suburbs
(It being the last weekend before
They would be corralled into classrooms once more)
And he leaned out the window,
Addressing them with a somewhat paternal growl,
Hey, my little heroes--time for you to get inside.
Gets cold at night 'round this time of year
Wk kortas Sep 2021
He was, to be sure, very impressive indeed,
His bearing and carriage not of someone on his way
As much as one who had truly arrived:
Sleek, self-assured, possessing the calm of one
Who fully understands just how powerful he is,
One who has not embraced the company culture
As much as self-immersed in it,
To the point where it has so permeated his structure
That is hard to tell where he begins and it ends.
And yet, there is something unsettling there,
The odd non sequiturs, disturbing enough
In their utter and unconscious wrong-headedness,
But even more so
In the motorized, perfunctory method of their delivery,
As if it were obvious that it is we who are clearly incorrect.

Some three hours of drive time away,
Past any number of Holiday Inn Expresses,
Past numerous faded and shuttered Catskill resorts,
A handful of people carrying standard-issue banker’s boxes
Containing the detritus of twenty or thirty years of work
Exit the vestigial office the company maintains in its birthplace
(Only there as a nod to history, a sop to the locals and legislators.)
We hate to lose good people,
The HR person who drove up for the occasion
Intones solemnly to a handful of reporters
Who slouch nonchalantly in folding chairs
Scattered about a small, Seventies-wood-paneled conference room,
But there are certain market inefficiencies at work,
International incidents, kinks in the supply chain,
Other anomalies the forecasting tools
And business models couldn’t have foreseen
And as he speaks, one of the newly superfluous
Wordlessly enters her car, pointing it homeward,
Across the sluggish, ice-clogged Susquehanna traversing  a bridge Commemorating a giant of cash registers and calculators.
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