The Gift of Gab

"Even though I graduated
from Rice
after attending
and summa cum lauding at Mars Hill
wear the best Brooks Brothers
double breasted suits
and Allan Edmond shoes
drive a new Ford Thunderbird
and use my credit cards
with some
not total
profligacy," intoned Lewis,

"she still won't marry me
because I still like okra, anchovies
and black-eyed peas,
even after
as Corrine puts it,
'should have learned
not to.'"

He then checked the dimple
in his yellow silk tie
to be sure it was prefect
which it was


and started to criticize
the color of his boss's garter-less socks
and his belts.



"You will lose your eyesight, Neal"
and never see the moon again,"
the opthalmologist tells me,"

I smile and say
"It does not hurt me
to know, acknowledge that ,
I can feel it on my skin
and also,"

I paused long,

"it will see me."


Edmund Alferez

After teaching Marxism
two classes a day,
I pull off my penny loafers or
saddle shoes
and solid knit tie
to indulge....

The dean may seem
to know
what I do
at times
his secrets
are kept as well
as mine.

Bach in the basement
Tzara in the tower
and me
in the mezzaine.

It snowed today
for the first time
in twenty-nine years
around here.

I left my tie
and my shoes
and my soul
on for a change.


Kent 2007

I stand
won't move
from this pagoda

Thirty-seven years ago
will capture me
more and more
with each hesitating step.

gas in the air
bullets slice into flesh
and blood, a thick plum color,
on parking lot pavement.

So I will sit and look
try to breathe again
after close to four decades
it would be good to do.

Rain will come
to wash the service road clean
some stains never leave
birthmarks that arrive later in life.

© Mike Cluff