The following poems got out there this summer. Many thanks to the editors and crews of Rise Up Review and Counterpunch.
Lucky in Out Circles
You may have been lucky enough to have had a mother and father;
the size and color would not have been a concern to the baby you.
Recall being bathed, fed, tucked in by both of them; hear laughter
over a crayon mess a fawning grandmother called your masterpiece.
Lucky, let’s say you lived in a house with a front lawn to backyard
for happy play dates and birthday parties with a variety of buddies.
Remember making out at the high school prom with your sweetheart,
when you married after college before getting a manager’s white collar.
Said blessed to have a boy and girl both resembling your soul mate;
your own house; friends over for barbecues; long cross-country trips.
You cared about your country being a country with other countries
living in peace on a healthy planet spinning in a rich thick Milky Way.
Except by Balloon Summer of 2021
Yes, it’s been two years since my last physical,
Dr. Li. With the pandemic, public transportation
the way it is, and being retired, I just ballooned.
Grew fat that is: ballooning is on my bucket list—
imagine over the Grand Canyon or even Queens.
You must have had it rough, add being Chinese.
Sure, of course: you had to make more referrals
to psychiatrists. Me? Just the usual: drinking
way too much and insomnia. I could be more…
productive. It’s a lonely struggle with the when,
the how, of course the big why. Who cares
about poetry, especially when it gets political—
when all comes down to I have mine, get lost,
the world is ending soon anyway. And here
comes legalized marijuana to New York City!
The kids are saving up their allowances for that.
Will add a whole new dimension to dumbing
down, putting down, keeping down a generation.
Sure, I know I should stop drinking. I know it’s
killing me. I ask who will come to my funeral?
I’d like it to be on an island no one can reach,
if not by a giant carnival hot air balloon. But
will that ride really matter to me then? Who?