Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Villa

Someone was always ringing the doorbell these days. Usually on Tuesdays Carl could barely go fifteen minutes without the resonant tones of the bell going off, and he would hasten to the door to let another guest in. Mondays were often busy, too. And sometimes the place could get crowded on Friday and Saturday nights, especially in the springtime, when the weather improved and the leaves started budding vibrant green again.

Carl had known by now to have pastries prepared all day for the influx of visitors he expected on any given day. They were always hungry and usually took a cookie or two with a guilty look on their faces, muttering that someone else would probably need the cookies more than they would. But Carl always shrugged and told them it was fine. They nibbled at their snacks nervously, eyeing the other guests with suspicion and shame.

On this particular Tuesday Carl was especially tired. There was a strange lull in visitors that afternoon, and more than an hour passed without the doorbell ringing once. Carl lounged on the couch in the living room, the front door of the villa 15 feet diagonal from where he sat now. In the break in guests arriving, Carl made the mistake of blinking his eyes for longer than three seconds, and before he knew it he awoke again to the suddenly harsh tones of the doorbell. He swung his feet to the floor with a thump and stood with a creak. The doorbell rang again, twice in a row; Carl sensed the urgency of the tones beyond the door.

“Just a minute!” Carl shouted hoarsely, then cleared his throat. “Hold on! Don’t leave!” With soft stockinged feet he paced quickly to the entryway and swung the door open, fearing that his visitor was too anxious and had already left. When his eyes focused Carl looked straight into the eyes of a sweaty middle-aged man with a worn hat ring around his forehead; the hat itself he wrung nervously through his fingers, bending the brim back and forth. His eyes changed to an expression of relief when he saw Carl open the door.

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You

Sometimes when I am blessed with fits of courage
I wonder what would happen if I surprised you one day
And I brought you a sheet of paper and gave it to you
You’d probably be surprised and say what’s this
And I’d reply I wrote this about you I want you to have it

You’d probably look at my quizzically
You might read the first few lines or even the whole page
And I’d stand there awkwardly not knowing what to do
And avert my eyes from yours as they oscillated across the page
My heart might start racing and my skin would flush
As I immediately regretted showing you the product of your inspiration
Because I’d remember how strange it is to show appreciation for someone
Especially when it manifests itself in such a raw artistic form
As a poem which reveals colossal vulnerability
And breaks my towering walls down at least a little

And sometimes when I’ve built up an unexpected nerve
I think I should confess that other poem was also about you
And that other one that I wrote last year
And still another one I’ve been composing in my head
And this one too

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The Golden Years

“Truth”
Pours from the pen of one vain columnist
The words that you write
Cut like a knife
Everyone believes you
You think that they do

Youth
Seeps from the seams of your festering soul
Mostly just dripping
Influence slipping
Slipping
Slipping

And if only you knew
If only you had the wisdom
In the moment to ask
If only you had the shoes in which to dance
To take a chance to free yourself
Enough to hear the story
Of us millennials,
Generation idle
I-D-L-E
not I-D-O-L

Scorn
Resides in the core of your trivial mind
Consternating dudgeon
Caustic curmudgeon
Clinging to the past
With weak hope it will last
Mostly just drooling
Barely fooling
Yourself

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