Down At Heel

When Sydney was small
My size 12 running shoe
Was a thing she could sleep in
And–once or twice–chew.

When Sydney was young
I’d slip on my size 12s
And together we’d ramble
For miles by ourselves.

When Sydney was older
My running shoes walked
At her side or behind her;
She sniffed and I talked.

When Sydney was fading
I’d slip off my shoes
At the end of a run
And she’d sniff them for news.

Since Sydney departed
That cold winter morn,
Their laces have frayed and
The heels have grown worn

But those 12s are the shoes
I still wear when I jog.
There’s a hole in my sole
And it’s thanks to my dog.

A Night In Old Vienna

Of course, we’ll begin
With Johann Strauss’
Blue Danube, and then
Die Fledermaus.
Schatz-Walzer comes next
(That’s “Treasure Waltz”
In case you’re perplexed),
Then social faults
Like gossip and drink
We’ll celebrate
With Tritsch-Tratsch…I think
It’s getting late,
So Emporer, then
We will end
With Strauss Sr.’s
Radetzky March,
And go home.

Cat O’Mime Tales

My cat thinks I’m deaf.
I’m not sure what to do.
She yawns like she’s yowling
But nothing comes through.
She hops on my lap
And climbs up to my chest
And pretends she’s meowing.
She’s not. It’s a test,
Or perhaps an elaborate
Practical joke
Played by calico kind
On us human-type folk.
I touch her, she shudders;
It feels like a purr
But no audible rumbling
Comes tumbling from her.
My cat thinks I’m deaf,
But I guess that’s okay,
‘Cause I think she’s not hungry!
Fun game. Two can play!

Jalisco

I would like to live in a Mexican restaurant
Not in the back where I’d have to make food
For others to eat until there were no others
Because I’m making the food
And I’d have to eat it myself
By myself
And that’s just Real Life With Hairnets

I would like to live in a Mexican restaurant
In a cracked vinyl booth under a mural
Of a runaway bull cornered by caballeros
Wielding lariats and machismo
In the red-yellow dust of a plaza
Where señoritas watch the daily spectacle
From the doorway of a cantina
Beneath a sign painted with the name
Of the restaurant I call home

My perspiring brown plastic glass of iced tap water
Leaves white rings of wet on the formica
Which I hate
And try to hide
By moving the red lumpy glass candle away
From its post by the scarred silver dispenser
Of tissue-thin white napkins
That I should have placed beneath my glass

I eat chips and salsa and salsa
And spill
And try to learn the language from the fútbol on the TV
Above the bar I never approach
Because la cerveza comes to me in my booth
Beneath the mural of the desperate bull
Because I live here
In a Mexican restaurant

And frijoles smell like home

Mayonnaise

Mayo, mayo, smooth and white,
A sandwich lover’s sweet delight,
How can you be so rich and dense
And grand with those ingredients?
Eggs and oil, lemon juice
(Or vinegar, it’s up to youse)
And–get this: Mustard! Hand to God,
There’s mustard in your mayo! Odd,
‘Cause mustard’s swapped by men of means
Who dine in fancy limousines
But taxi drivers holler, “Hey-o,
Buddy, can ya spare some mayo?”
Mayonnaise: A tasty bonus
Just for us, not them that own us.
They can keep their poup-dijon.
It’s time to get my mayo on!

Time Lord

I’m a Time Lord! Yes, it’s true!
Not like the guy in Doctor Who,
But I’m a Lord of Time, because
I’m Master of The Time That Was–
Specifically, today’s A.M.
Twelve hours, right? Pshaw to them!
I say pshaw dismissively
Because they’re not the boss of me!
They came around, they knocked, they called,
But I ignored them. True! Appalled?
I understand that lesser folk
Such as, well, you might guess I joke
In saying so, but rest assured,
Those hours summoned; I demurred.
Incontrovertibly, I spent
No less than 65 percent
Of them–those hours–fast asleep!
Like minions ’round my bed they creep–
Or crept–’til 7:48
When I at last awakened. Late?
You’d think, but incorrectly so
‘Cause I’m a Time Lord, don’tcha know!
And here’s a little T.L. boon
For you to envy on: When noon
Arrived here in my local zone
I didn’t dangle on my own
Until four hundred sixty-eight
More minutes passed. I didn’t wait
At all!
The instant all your twelves
Arrived, mine came as well! Your selves
Were subject to predaceous Time
From midnight onward; meantime, I’m
Relaxing in suspended A–
For animation–as the day
Progresses fitfully without.
I’m Lord of Time, without a doubt,
Because, despite my restful snooze,
I got to noon the same as youse
And not one minute later! Gee,
Too bad you’re you instead of me.