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Dan Provost–two poems

Two Lives in an Instant

He walks, arms folded across
bony chest cavity. Green neon
shirt hiding insults from long past.

Frail blue tie blowing in the wind.

Wearing light red pants, waist going
halfway to his chin. Chuck Taylor sneakers
that trip over themselves as he avoids the
tanned brunettes and bleached blond boys,
Those college fashion statements who rather
be seen and adored than focus on an education.

Standing isolated within budding cliques who
ridicule, tease and belittle the boy; he retreats
into a treasure of his own forlorn.

As I walk past him; and see the sadness he is
trying so hard to hide–He quickly stares back
at me, then looks down at the sidewalk for
some kind of moral support.

Two pony-tailed girls with white
halter-tops continue to giggle. One
cock-rock boy with a LeBron James
muscle shirt and knee-length checkered
shorts talks on his cell phone, ignoring
the kid with the strange clothes and
welling eyes.

I stop for a moment, then let him pass…he
is now two feet behind me and—oh god,
I should say something.

Even an acknowledgement of existence—a
hi or hello would be some source of inner light.

But I am a coward, wrapped up in my own playground
creation of torrid tears.

I say nothing to him-and he walks away…

His story still his own.
Me, less pure and more tainted.

Because some tales must remain hidden.
For all never to see.
Ever.

But once in a while, life’s sacred secrets are unfortunately witnessed…
and felt by many.

Even if you do not want them to be…

____________

 

Not Drinking?

Ironically, flexing
my muscles in the
AA group…

While an ex-bohemian moderator
presents the god-damn 9th step
during winter’s twilight.

Ransom chip to some
cabbage like skank who
has six months sobriety…

I walk home
alone—

Berlin Pub in my
sights—

Hear some country singer
croon about his
cows running away…

Juke box failure…

World frustrater…

Yea, I wish for the bottle now.

It’s bullshit sickening.

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_____________
Reading J.D.

(for John Dorsey)

Reading John Dorsey
in the late afternoon…
His words of villains and loneliness
never to be told by any visitor
crossing my threshold…
I turn the pages and see
more tales of John Wayne,
Gregory Corso and the
syntax of situation.
He always gets it right, that crazy beautiful poet.
I also read John Dorsey’s poetry
in the early morning hours.
Because women have been
scarce and Chinese food is
a poor substitute for companionship
at 3 AM.
Sorry John, my Little Boy beats to
daffodils of isolation.
The clock continues to tick and the
grass grows over the walkway to my
small home.
So John…keep the pen handy for sad
saps like me…Who want to keep the
fire warm and the chill always handy…

________________


Overhearing an Educated Conversation

A college girl is raking the leaves on an unaccustomed warm January day, while the rest of the male educators are staring out the window at her,

commenting on their desire to be twenty years younger.

Wearing a blue farmer-bib, auburn hair tied in a ponytail that she has to keep adjusting when she puts more muscle into her raking technique.

After all, these leaves were buried under the snow a week ago.  Now they are exposed on the hill near her dorm.

She has decided to do something about it.
The faculty still looks in shameful lust.

I type a poem that tries to portray innocence.
And for once, I have succeeded.

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