Posted in Death


In an attempt to be individualistic
all high school foyers are identical
the lists of distinguished athletes and scholars
the gallery of robed former principals.

The reception area divided asymmetrically
the rigid stratification of airline lounges
inmates on the linoleum of the corridor
visitors the comfort of seats
and acoustic reduction of carpet.

Behind the sliding glass partition
a secretary bustles efficiently
smiling at people who matter
kind to those who don’t.
Yes. Have a seat. He won’t be long.

He, the Head of Department
the man I am here to see.
the person whom if I’m lucky will be a minor Messiah
or if such terminology is permissible, fairy godmother.

15 minutes late but cheer absolves him
flurry of handshake, apology and disarming admission
of congenital inability to conform with time.
A handclap signals the interview is underway -and mobile.

Down corridors
hands are flung at the orchestra of tasks
baton change chatter scores expectations.
A door opens erupting a wave of teeming captives
he continues to address the space from which I have been swept.

The music fades the carousel to completion
to chat in his office.
Anything I can’t do? No. Good.
I struck him as competent. Thank you.
The pay is…. “When could you start?”

The drive home is bliss
doubt and uncertainty recede.
I stop to purchase a celebratory bottle
three days later a letter.
Thank you …..Unfortunately.

For the back story click Backstage
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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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