Saturday, August 13, 2011

Poet Laureate


They gave him a notebook and a bus stop
and said, “Alright, now, get to work.”

But then the dew came on,
the bottle caps and cigarette butts,
and there was grit right up
to his old blue
jeans.

They gave him a telephone,
black with rotary dial,

the one his mother used before,
then after, she lost her mind.

                “I like you better in that tie.”

        “Ma.”

                        “No. Really.”

His father, was dead — so dead,
no one had ever been that dead before;

every time he turned on the light in the garage
he felt just how damn dead he was.

He was scared to look in the freezer.

The years passed, as years do;
finally, one day, the telephone rang.

                “I need you, son. Come home.”

These kids with their energy drinks:
how many would even know how to shine
an apple or an orange, or to sweep the sidewalk
to the street by old man Seltzer’s clock?

Bah. Bah to the diesel fumes. Bah
to the howling brakes.

Make something out of nothing.
That’s what it takes.

10 comments:

Denise Scaramai said...

William,

What a wonderful way to extract
the essence of life in this truth:
"Make something out of nothing.
That's what it takes. "

William Michaelian said...

An opportunity, a responsibility, an abiding impulse. Thank you, Denise.

Stickup Artist said...

I love the ambiance. A feeling as if transported back into an old black and white movie, or a book that was turned into an old black and white movie. We gain, we lose, It certainly does take imagination and fortitude to cope and keep moving forward...

William Michaelian said...

We gain, we lose, and so often confuse the two. I’m glad you like the mood; if anyone knows, it’s you, who so artfully imagines the world in black and white.

Aleksandra said...

awesome

William Michaelian said...

Aw, thanks!

Jan said...

William,

A page from the book of life for so many of us...to be continued in the next edition~~~

William Michaelian said...

Yes.... I like the way you put it, Jan.

Two Tigers said...

A nod to the new PL? I agree with Denise, those last lines knock me out. And wake me up.

William Michaelian said...

And so it is, Gabriella, that we climb back into the ring, again and again and again.

A nod? Perhaps, if you read it so. But if found a year from now, what then? And whom?

Quite simply, everyone.