On this day I will give the cat a bath.
this involves an elaborate ceremony,
as befits an almost unique occasion.
I awaken at the usual hour, perform
my usual bathroom ritual, to the mirth
of the cat who curls up on the dirty
laundry in the basket in the closet.
I dice the pear, slice the banana,
pluck and carefully rinse the grapes,
then slather on the plain Greek yogurt,
and a large tablespoon of granola.
I carefully peanut butter one and a half
slices of multigrain toast, each with a dollop
of No Sugar Added strawberry jam
and make my cortado, on the foamy side.
It is time, now, for the main event,
and I fill the tub with warm water, pick up
the cat, and soon bandage my bloody arms.
They ebb and flow
like tides down the half-empty street
from venue to venue,
many with that lost look
of years in the desert, driven
on by promised
the land of honey notes,
the mother’s milk of jazz.
The event passes flap in the breeze
created by their wake, some
checking programs, their
personal map to the festival.
We stand on the corner
watching humanity engage
in the ritual we, after 14 years,
have chosen now only to observe.
This poem was recently published in the first issue of a new journal, Punt Volat. You can find it here:
Early this afternoon, a Kenworth
semi pulling a 53-foot trailer
rolled down Nebraska route 92
and entered the limits of Broken Bow.
The importance of this event,
while not yet obvious, will, I
promise, become so soon enough
if you only remain patient.
As this was happening, rockets
launched from Gaza rained down
on Israel, and quickly the IDF jets
responded, killing 19, more
than half of those civilians according
to Palestinian authorities, but no one
was terribly surprised, as it had
became a question of when not if.
Peace is, we have learned, that
Holy Grail, denied to those who want it
but will not sacrifice themselves
or concede egos to try to attain it.
The semi pulled in behind the Dollar
General on South E Street, too late
to offload, and the driver walked
over to the Bonfire Grill for a beer.
We listen carefully
certain we can hear it
if and when it appears.
We hear nothing, but we
are used to not hearing,
but faith is a far more patient
than it is given credit for
and we have nothing to do
in any event, other than
to abide an event
we cannot predict
is a skill we have refined
since we were evicted
from the garden, apple in hand.
Nothing unexpected happened today.
That, in itself, was entirely unexpected.
On this and certain other days,
you have to expect the unexpected.
When that doesn’t happen you are left
to ponder why what was logically expected
went so unexpectedly wrong.
Nothing unexpected should happen tomorrow.
At least anything unexpected happening
would be a truly unexpected event.
But as our parents always told us,
we should always expect the unexpected.
Or so was their perpetual expectation.
Tomorrow the moon
will be full of herself
hiding behind the cape
of the afternoon sun.
It is of no matter
the moon would say
if asked, for this
doesn’t happen often.
She would dazzle our eyes
if she dared show
her ancient face
but not tomorrow, not
this once in a blue moon.