07 – painter’s Song, The City Of Beautiful Women

Hallelujah, I live in the city of beautiful women;
thank God I live in this place—there can be no better
because everywhere I go there are just beautiful women;
why do none of them see me?

Can’t they see I am incurably romantic?
Please don’t confuse me with those other guys,
out of shape somewhat deflated boy toys,
what could possibly be criticized?

I live in the city of beautiful women—
at least Odysseus was tied to his mast—
as poignant a metonym as I ever encountered—
soon as we fly our flag our wit is cut to pieces.

The city of beautiful women is not
a very beautiful place—there is war
going on— covert and out in the open.
Everyone says what a waste,
what a bust, what a pair of scams.
We all complain, we’re unable to do anything
about it, so we just acquiesce to the inevitable.

Help! I am trapped in the city of beautiful women,
do not ignore me, I am calling for your aid!
Try and find some way to get me out of here—
but, whatever you do—don’t come here to save me.

08 – poet hears a Subway Sermon

On the subway: a grandmother, white hair, black woman sitting beside me says to herself “all right”—stands up in a crowded subway car on its way to Spadina station and says “Now, listen up people, listen to me for just a moment. Remember to do right, to be good, to read your Bible, and pray, because He is coming again and it might be soon, He will come again, and you have to remember to be good, try to have goodness in your hearts and read your Bible because it is good for you, we don’t know how much time we have left, it could happen at any moment, so please, be good, read your Bible, He is coming.” Everyone just stands there, some somewhat slack-jawed, though there are a couple of “Amen’s” pronounced throughout this self-prescribed, solely delivered, struck right to the bone, subway sermon. Amen sister, Amen brother. Do good.