Saturday, October 31, 2015

On a higher plane
( Flight 59 )

The jet banked hard, almost sideways
almost upside down, over the Rocky Mountains
avoiding, the pilot said (he would know), a bank 
of clouds full of snow up ahead. Speaking of banks, 
the man across the aisle to the right looked like 
he ran one, or maybe a chain of them. 
He pointed out my window, and opened conversation. 

“Look at those mountains,” he said. “So majestic.” 

The jet leveled off a bit, and headed into western Kansas.

“Well, I guess what you’re gonna say next is that
that plain down there is fruited,” I said. 
“Are you cynical?” 
“No. But I am 59.”
The in-flight movie ended, and a row of soldiers 
rose, stretched, and single-filed back to the bathroom. 
The banker half-rose in his seat, said hello, saluted
and thanked them.

“You gotta hand it to them, don’t you? I take
my hat off to them,” he said, after they passed. 

“Yes. And I'm glad they're alive.” 

I got more interested in the weave of fabric 
on the seat back in front of me, than Kansas. 
I felt the banker looking at the side of my head;
he would say some more.

“They deserve our thanks. Our gratitude,” he said. 
“We need to honor their sacrifice.”

“Ok, I agree.”

“They are defending our freedoms.”

“Oh come on. You know better than that. Those guys 
never even met my mother.” 

The jet banked hard left, under the weight of the banker. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

bang bang boring 

MEN, guns
MEN, guns, in charge 
MEN, guns, in charge add money
( get in a ) LATHER, RINSE ( off the blood ), REPEAT.
Nothing’s gonna change. 
Unless; if just one of these guys would get a sense of humor. 

Add love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On a higher plane 
(Red-eye flight, Brooklyn to Dharamsala)

I popped up suddenly in my seat on the jet
wide awake from a dream and though 
this isn’t confessional poetry
it was all true, what I’d just had a dream about. 

In the dream I saw it all again; 1980
I got married in the red and yellow countryside
in Fall, my favorite season 
surrounded by Her and her extended family, 
all these new people, my family now. 
Finally - my own wife, plus a mother, father, sister, and
brother - it felt like it would be forever … 
but then in 1984 I turned homeless in Boston
in the Fall again, still my favorite season
who knows what happened between these Falls, 
and then - there I was.
No wife, no family, no children, no house
I’d be the end of the line; it all went away 
so fast, and all those people, too!

I looked around the plane for comfort
I knew I wasn’t alone, and on my left
was THE Dalai Lama. On the right,
the window seat, was MAE WEST! 

They noticed me pop up, the Dalai asked 
what happened, I told him; I told him now 
I was the last of the line, no offspring off me,
and he started to laugh ... hahaha! 
So I turned to Mae, who winked at me then 
talked across me directly to His Holiness. 

“What’s so funny, Dalai Lama?” she asked. 

“I am last of line too,” he said. “When I go, 
no more Dalai Lamas. So much suffering in my life,”
he said, laughing again. “I feel like bull born, so to speak, 
in China shop, so of course I go to India, but now 
I take bull by the horns, meaning no more Dalais
but, SO WHAT?” Hahaha. 

“Yesss, well, I understand that a little,” Mae said, 
as they ping-ponged across me. “They were 
always trying to shut me up too, slow me down. 
But here I am. And you, Dalai - you’re lookin’ pretty
sentient. Then here you are,” she said, looking at me. 

“Excuse me, Mae West,” I said, “but if this really is 2015, 
didn’t you die 35 years ago? The very year I got married?”

“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, eh Dalai?” 

I looked left, back at him. His smile, her blonde hair 
lit up the whole back end of the jet. 

“Maybe, Mae,” he said. “Or maybe you are new 
Dalai Llama, and maybe I used to be - how you say - 
sexy blonde movie star!” 

Now they were both laughing, Dalia Lama's laughter 
sounding like Santa Claus down the chimney at high
speeds; Mae West's laughter like a cat purring in slow motion
under a hot red blanket. 

They both took one hand each from me, 
Dalai took my left and squeezed, Mae West took my right
hand and kissed it, leaving a wet red lipstick tattoo.

“All great mystery with no answer,” said Dalai Lama.
“Also - there is no end of any line. And no line. But,
nothing serious!” Hahahahahaha! 

“Say Dalai, you’re alright. Come up and 
see me sometime. And when you do, namaste awhile.” 

The wink she gave him was so electromagnetic 
it must have thrown off the pilot, the flight 
control tower, and the receding, twinkling Eastern Seaboard.

Meanwhile, I blew up a vomit bag and popped it
to wake myself up, in case I was dreaming again!
Whether I was or wasn’t didn't matter; I felt better. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A writer's convention 

No, I wouldn’t go
if I was you; (I'd say, if it came up)
why, why NOT? she'd say, he'd say; 
I'd say: cuz (or cous, if she or he was) they breed
conformity, uniformity and deformity.
But the last one would be ok. 

After all, the deformed don’t get much
group coffee and donuts, wine cheese and comfort, but 
they sure give it.