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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

LESSONS LEARNED

(AT AN EARLY AGE WHILE LIVING IN LOW INCOME HOUSING, 1974)

Sometimes in life
it’s a good idea to hide in the corner behind a red naugahyde chair.
Sometimes in life
you have to pound on the steering wheel and shout, “you know I wanted ice cream”!
Sometimes life tastes like
Swanson pot pies, Campbell’s soup, Quisp cereal, a packet of Wyler’s juice

Sometimes life feels like
the shot gun blast that killed the old guy who was the apartment manager.
Sometimes it’s like
an across the hall neighbor out of her mind on acid running in with a butcher knife.
Sometimes in life
you have to push the furniture in front of the door before going to bed.

Sometimes life is about
lawyers in the living room and toys you’re forbidden to play with.
Sometimes it’s
your cat having kittens in the closet, but you can’t keep one of them.
Sometimes life
burns like shampoo in the eyes or it cuts like a broken water glass.

Sometimes it sounds like
a Carpenters album, a Gilligan’s Island laugh track, the Banana Splits theme song.
Sometimes in life
you want Mrs. Beasley with her polka dot dress, not the red heart shaped pillow.
Sometimes life is like
pulling GI Joe’s string and the only thing he ever says is, “I've got a tough assignment for you”.


OLD GUY WITH THE NICE POOL














“I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor.
Do you know your next door neighbor?”- Mother Teresa

Red lights splashed into all of our back yards,
guessed it was the old guy with the nice pool,
but it was his wife, a loud lady I talked to once.
She suffered a heart attack and died. He’s been
alone for ten or twelve years now and for hours
he sits watching TV on the back porch, I’d hear
MASH, CNN, John Wayne westerns, war movies.

His pool always crystal clear, open Memorial Day,
closed on Labor Day, check the calendar and see
the trampoline-like green cover perfectly placed.
He moved slower, didn’t swim, watched more TV.
Had less pool parties with his family and last winter
a sign went up on his lawn, the house sold quick,
luckier than most who have been trying to leave.

Another neighbor says, “His kids got him to sell and
moved him to assisted living, on his first night there,
he got out of bed, tripped on the rug, broke his leg.
Doctors find he’s filled with cancer. Three weeks later
around Christmas, he’s gone. Dead. Jack was his name”.

Monday, August 4, 2014

JETTY GEORGE

hooked a bluefish, so did Tommy, his busboy.
Pop and I caught weakfish on the Fishin’ Fool.
Worth missing a day at the beach. I remember
how the Royal Flush party boat blasted by and
put us in a wake, rocked us, made us struggle to
bring in our catch of the day, but we reeled it in.
Two slabs under the broiler with lemon and butter,
and a Kodak moment above my desk for eternity.