Monday, March 4, 2013

Another Poem About My Wife

If a goon comes to my door
to throw me on the street
because I must pay for
those toiling years of love:
my careful repair,
paint for the sun,
landscaping stones,
of making my home more beautiful,
doing things for others as you would
have them done for you,

the gift I felt for my gift
was immeasurable.
So to see my landlord
pull up all the stones,
blacken down the walls,
take back
the damaged mind
he'd left behind,
there must be something more that I still owe.

And if those goons do show
my son says it's all cool,
the luckless on the streets
in cardboard homes
have Obama phones.

5 comments:

Jack said...

Bravo on the last line!

Aside from that, this work is depressing. Landlords lording.

the walking man said...

Great flow and direct ending. To be truthful this hits a chord with me as I physically watched bank after bank foreclose and then houses once lived in by owner tenants bought up by slum lords for pennies on the dollar evict tenant after tenant.

But I see the poetry of it and can only ask the question of who have you allowed to become your "landlord." We have many within to choose from whether the house be made of cardboard or brick and mortar.

WAS said...

OK - I hear what y'all are saying. Let me say, first, as point of fact that it's not financial considerations but the landlord's wife with a grip on his short and curlies seeking vengeance that is the actual "prompt" here. Second, as a point of order, the landlord situation is a proxy for something I can't write about legally. Third, as a matter of interpretation, this poem to me is more about the male tendency to stoicism, kinda like that last scene in Cassavetes' film The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, where Ben Gazzara, having gotten shot when killing someone for hire to support his selfish, ungrateful and thoroughly unlikeable wife and employees, politely refuses a ride from one of them, content to wait for a bus while he is literally bleeding to death.

erin said...

it surprises me how much life there is in the title itself. it could (on its own) be an interesting poem asking us to jump off (in which direction?) into story on our own. but the rigor with which we are seemingly held away from control of our lives is a different order of pain. but in spite of this you give us respite,
"the gift I felt for my gift
was immeasurable" and for this i am grateful. and while those in cardboard boxes with Obama phones (i agree, great line) are struggling, i can't help but wonder on our complicity in this. have we not, in part, made this world?

xo
erin

WAS said...

Oh, Erin you make me cry...