Saturday, October 13, 2007

Classic Love Poem


By Franz Douskey

part one

Much in marriage is subliminally surreal.
for example, take my inlaws.
The less said the better. brother-in-law
on the sofa turning pages. his dutiful wife
mopping the floor, an antideluvial apparition.
Still, they are happy as a breeze of tropical
air blowing from the hairdresser's next door.

Everywhere, so many people happy. The war is
going well. A lot of the enemy and few of us dying.
Just what the president prayed for. And so many
beautiful women whose source of happiness
is blue fingernails with gold crescent moons.

And people still wanting to have babies to beat
and throw out windows. Their thug boyfriends
in handcuffs complaining with twisted mouths
that the little bastards kids just wouldn't shut up.

But me, I'm easy. I practice invisibility. Silence.
Even when I'm there, I'm either someone
or somewhere else. What do I have to add
to the conversation about homeland security?
I've had all my shots, except for distemper.

I say let's close the borders to future terrorists.
Off with their towelheads. I'm just a poet with a
crocodile smile waiting for the next terrible moment, who knows
nothing about freedom of speech, just the long, terrible
silence that follows.

part two

I'm easy. If you want to sleep, sleep. I will hold you
through the night
nothing could make me happier than your happiness.

you can come and go as you wish. no questions, no answers.

hire a housekeeper and someone not too bright to take care of the grounds,
someone whose head hums long after he's turned off the lawn mower.

don't worry about dinner. I love to cook. I have studied
with the best and have had dinners prepared for me by Emeril,
with photos to prove it,
that is, if, after all that we've meant to each other,
proof is still necessary.

and the laundry. I love the caress of effervescent suds. I
love the Latin rhythms of our washer and dryer pulsating side by side.

shopping? please. don't trouble yourself. nothing gives me
comfort as the late night vibrant, flourecent aisles
of super markets as vast as landing fields.

I love it all. come home to find you asleep. what could be better?

the bed warm. the doors locked and lights out. and I wait
for a murmer, a sign, a hint of possible passion,
a break in the sonorous deep breaths,

I lie in the dark and remember the intense propensities
that brought me to this point at the edge of endless night,
to think of all the things real and imagined in disrepair.

Franz Douskey, a poet and writer, is President Emeritus of of IMPAC University, PuntaGorda, FL. He teaches creative writing at Gateway Community College in New Haven. Douskey has been published in more than 150 journals and magazines including the New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Yankee. A featured guest at New Haven's Festival of Arts & Ideas, Douskey's books include "Rowing Across The Dark" and "Indecent Exposure." He is a founding board member of the IMPAC-Connecticut State University Young Writers Trust and has served as a judge every year of the competition. Douskey is also the author of the forthcoming biography,"The Unknown Sinatra."

No comments: