Winter Nights, Otter Pelts and, Poof, He Was Gone

Miss Cavort in the Snow, 
An Ojibwe lass 
With whom a French trapper had his way, 
By promising her a few otter pelts 
And French lessons. 
She got the pelts, 
But he disappeared into the woods 
And was long gone 
Before any but the word 
Passed between them.


Eschatology at Work

Last call folks,
Said Joe, a weary 2 a.m. bartender.
It’s really, the last call…
Being End Times, Last Days,

The Rapture, the Sorrows.
So order a last glass of Guinness
To carry up to the Hereafter.
I still had a foamy upper lip
From a previous Guinness
And wasn’t thinking about another.
Judgment Day,
I said skeptically,
And you’re telling everyone here
To show up to heaven with a glass of Guinness…
In one stroke irritating
The bureaucrats of heaven
And mega-church preachers,
Who preach End Times for a living.
Now apologize,
I suggested
And tell everyone you were kidding,
That you’re tired
And the last round is free.

Water Woes In My Water Closet

Serious as a surgeon,
The plumber spoke those fateful words…
It’ll have to come out,
There’s a fatal weakness in the flap.
So just the flap?
I asked.
He said,
Too embarrassed to look me in the eye,
The whole thing.
Oh, my God, I said,
That’s a major removal.
As bad as it gets, he said.
When can you start?
I got a new toilet in the truck,
I can do it now.

The Czar of Crazytown

A bouncer-big doorman,
The czar of the gate,
Let in those in the waiting crowd,
Who seemed ready for a letting go,
And were clad in tattoos more than clothes.
The czar let in a blend
Of long legs and libido
To mix with the perfumed drinks
And snow that sparkled in the flashing strobes.
Pinky Osman, more Fit-Bit than glitz
Finally got to the czar,
Who gave him the once-over.
You got ID, asked the czar.
You’re kidding,
This gray in my hair isn’t ID enough?
Sir, we’re not checking too young to let in,
But too old.
There’s cardiac music in there
And sweaty dancing
And vulgar lyrics…
It’s not in your sweet spot,
You gotta be young.
Down the block
There is a low-key boite…
Chardonnay, soft music, pressed slacks.
But this was the place,
So Pinky peeled off a c-note,
And slipped it to the czar of the gate.
The velvet rope disappeared
And Pinky left the night for Crazytown.

Technologically, We’re a Tad Incomplete

Sometimes talking cell-phonically,
There’s a time with no clue
That my co-talker is lost
In a cellphone dead zone.
Naturally, he missed
My cleverest jests
Which I kept spewing
With Shakespearean regularity…
Puns’ Labours Lost, as it were.
So they fell on disconnected ears,
And my remembrance of them…
To repeat them,
Once the circuit was restored
Was milliseconds long
And, therefore, long gone.

Light Was My Concentration

The news I read
With light concentration,
An article, page one, to the bottom…
Continued on page such and such.
So I turned to that page
And read more,
Becoming aware the subject had changed…
From Mexican pesos to dikes and the Dutch.
And so, continuity missing,
It finally dawned, half a page on,
I had turned one page too many.

Filthy Rich…Filthy Poor

Dust is the bond between social classes,
The elegant moneyed and the masses.
It collects on everyone’s things indoors,
The priceless armoires of Louis Quatorze,
Or the simple goods of the bourgeoisie,
It piles up even at Sotheby’s.
Dust motes surely beget with lust,
And make sure everything’s covered with dust.
The difference is that Louis Quatorze
Had dusters in all of his corridors,
While our more modest, but dusty shelves,
Are dusted less often and by ourselves.

Just Tell the Forsooth

Truth began to hang out with the wrong crowd.
After so many years of biblical truth,
It has now, sad to say,
Become relative truth,
Or convenient truth,
Or the appearance of truth…
In the neighborhood of truth.
Now mockingly we’re told,
We can’t handle the truth.
A clean break…a new term…is needed
To restore the purity of not lying.
And that new truth is called…
Do you swear to tell the whole ‘Forsooth’
And nothing but the ‘Forsooth’.
‘Forsooth’, you’ll see, will set you free.
So truth,
Now a withered stalk,
Will blow into etymological history,
As we begin life anew
In the ‘Age of Forsooth’.

Bringing on the Wet

I’m to blame for the rain,
Since I heard thunder and said aloud,
Sure feels like rain.
And then it came.
The next time you feel foul weather,
I was told, keep it to yourself.
Oddly, though, on a sunny morning,
I rose in warmth and said with feeling,
What a great day…
And then it rained.
My karma, it seems, turns good weather bad
And bad weather worse.
So now I never,
Even if asked to,
Mention the weather.