Ken Anderson: Two Poems

The Politics of Keeping Still

 

Midway through launching whispers

Into the mangrove, the whistle blew.

Time in our little launderette

Spun out while last year’s back issues

Posed their frail queries: which vault

For these leftovers, for that disinherited spoon?

 

Weather is a crazy thing, crackling back

To the closet under the stairs, the one

We never open. And the old chestnuts

Lie in their bed of laurels untouched.

Seasons come and go in various brands of moonlight.

Why are we all still here?

 

Shouldn’t there be an upgrade by now?

Like a knot loosening, or that novel

By Henry James (the one with broken spine)

We’d always meant to get around to finally finishing.

Sure, there’s still plenty left to do now

The bowling alley is closed for the season.

Enjoy a free trial with no obligation.

The escalators run continually with or without you.

 

Bastille Day Sale

 

You read about things like this

Happening to other people.

The long slide into the temperate zone

With its hints of lavender, its whites

Out of season. Something like that.

Long days followed by long nights, but

Life in the suburbs was all soda and crackers

By then. Greasy kid stuff.

 

They were happy until they were not.

No birthday lunch this year. So

A solemn jugularity seized the day. Well,

That dog won’t hunt. And so many unopened

Bank statements. Nevertheless,

I have enclosed the picture-postcard

On which this note wouldn’t fit.

We all make our own fun.

 


Kenneth Anderson lives and writes in what the Board of Tourism calls “Connecticut’s Quiet Corner.” He has flirted with the worlds of academia, corporate enterprise, healthcare management, and small business but escaped each with his soul more or less intact. He has a cat.

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