poetryrepairs 15.07:083

PETER KROK: Under my Skin
PETER KROK: AT THE KING OF PRUSSIA MALL
PETER KROK : THEY ARE THE ONES

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PETER KROK
Under My Skin

Billie, there're miles of time between us, my white skin and your black voice, but in a room or space of an auto we're together while you sing. The way you sway your song, the way you stretch your notes, the way you breeze your lines, they can’t take that away from you. Your sound knocks down the walls. Hearing you I'm back in Harlem at the smoky Savoy, elbow at the bar catching jazz. When they asked the Trumpeter, "What is Jazz," he answered, "If you don't know, I can't tell ya." No explaining what you got. Others score across the airwaves, but they’re not you, they just ain't you. What's it take? An echo gets stuck that won't leave the eardrum. A mood lingers in the air. How often I had no place to go and you took me somewhere. Billie, you’re under my skin.

poetryrepairs #215: 15.07:083





PETER KROK
AT THE KING OF PRUSSIA MALL

When shopping with my wife, searching for an item to match our daisy kitchen motif, colonial embroidered bedspread, presents or, above all, for Sales, I often slip away and go to Borders . . . On the Road is on the shelves. It takes me back. Cindy and I are on the road. We drive to Omaha. Feast on a Longhorn rib. Then to Laramie, Cheyenne, over the Rockies to Portland. We’re sunning on the sands of the Pacific sharing French bread and chardonnay. I don’t want to go but the Lottery chose me. Checking the titles along the aisle, I spot Winesburg, Ohio. I’m back in Athens, University of Ohio, Ohio, state with the Os and echoes. Janet knocks at the door. Comes in wearing only high heels, mink, and her breath. We’ve the weekend to uncover. I think to myself, If only? The Secrets of the Kama Sutra. Guide book I’ve longed to discover. Ah, to master the subtle art of pleasure. So many postures, so many ways … How do I love thee? O let me count the ways. A tap on my right shoulder. Time to try on cashmere sweaters, dockers my wife found on Sale. There’re circumstances one accepts: a traffic tie-up going home, the need for gifts and pants, toothpaste, chocolate. Oh, Godiva Chocolate is on Sale. “What price the Godiva?” I ask. The smiling sales girl at the counter eyes me or do I eye her or Let us go then, you and I, while in the mall shoppers come and go talking about the Sales, and who knows, who knows? Do I dare? Do I dare disturb the universe?

poetryrepairs #215: 15.07:083





PETER KROK
THEY ARE THE ONES 

There are those who cry in the night, who cannot settle under the covers. They stir; they wake; they stare at the night light. They turn the pillows but there is no going back. (If they could open their lungs they’d sound like the fox strangling the night air with its piercing cry.) They walk the streets. Light cigarettes. They want to escape, but don’t know where. They cannot understand themselves, afraid - of nights, other voices and their fury. They are the ones who cry out in the night.

poetryrepairs #215: 15.07:083







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"Under my Skin" also appeared in LIPS [FALL 2006]






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