poetryrepairs 15.03:031

HAL SIROWITZ : Like a Fish
HAL SIROWITZ : Relief from Boredom

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Like a Fish

Uncle Jack got caught driving while intoxicated, even though my Aunt had bought him a bar to manage across the street so he could walk home. But instead of walking he drove and got into this mess with the law. Plus, they couldn’t visit our house since it was not near public transportation. The only solution was for us to visit them more. Uncle Jack was only social when he had a few beers in him. Otherwise, he’d give commands, like tell my father to drive the car around the block to keep the engine in good shape. Father didn’t like traveling in circles. But Jack would have him test the horn until they became the center of attention. Father would tell us privately during the ride home that if you drink like a fish you have to endure the consequences of being one out of water – thrashing about, not getting anywhere.

poetryrepairs #210 15,03:031

Relief from Boredom

“In Bryn Mawr, PA, George Baird, returning from a party at 5 a.m., banged at the back door,
was greeted with gunfire. Hospitalized, he learned that he had returned to the wrong house in the wrong town.”
--TIME Capsule/1944
I could understand why my wife was mad at me, he said, for returning home so late without calling to let her know I’d soon be arriving, but to greet me with gunfire was very unlike her. We moved to the suburbs to get away from urban violence. We both decided we would rather be bored than shot at. Boredom is only a temporary phenomenon – a good movie can stop it for a few hours. Whereas, knife scars or gunshot wounds last for the rest of your life. So when my wife started to shoot at me, all I could think about was she must have been in a Philadelphia state of mind. Unless, it wasn’t her doing the shooting. But they say domestic crime is usually committed by someone you know. Besides my wife, who else did I know? We just moved in. I hadn’t gotten to know the neighbors, yet. Now, I don’t think they’ll want to know me.

poetryrepairs #210 15,03:031


So I know the road winds here as if in ignominy as I dream yet another fantasy and try to cling on to you my rebel words do not leave me alone in ecstasy or defeat walking jostled among markets people memories do not show me your smirk again or sound your cymbals of insanity . . . I recall the music ends here when I die and listen to the strains of yet another road not walked body not blessed woman not scripted when benedictions shower from above in agelessness in inanity No Word can stay with me today as I prepare for lines that have to be encountered such as never before like being a writer in residence talking to students around a fire that is white like the bleak meaning of sentences hanging loose in corners sharp and indifferent for what they are worth and their treachery that is rabid like their edges and hangs and gutters and your spaces rampant that hardly make up my keyboard And I sit before you today and yesterday and sip tea without sugar to make life easier and cheaper without strings attached and rephrase apologies for what I do not know as the garden somehow blurs around the edges and smudges like mascara that is without vanity

poetryrepairs #210 15,03:031

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