Posted in Unexpected


Both were called Jenny
one a good friend of a decade
the other acquaintance of two years
not yet classified
could become a solid chapter
slip to footnote.

In the Alpine club it was said
there were old climbers
and bold climbers
but no old, bold climbers.
He was.
first Englishman to stand atop Everest
many other notable firsts
this too
first visit to New Zealand.

the probability of Wimbledon final
or Super Bowl.
$20 when $20 was one a half hours work.
Old Jenny is well-connected
knows the right people
thinks she can squeeze blood from a stone
yes please
two for us plus new Jenny if possible.
“Done.” She will meet us there.

The talk and slides astounding
white fangs of ridge
rotten granite pinnacles
sky hung ropes
protracted roll call of the dead.

Coffee or wine before home
maybe both
some people’s lives: one crowded hour.
New Jenny wanting a souvenir
asks for her ticket
Old Jenny giggles and leaves.
I feel like Judas’s brother.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.

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