david plumb | six poems

Harry, It’s You

Hey there, Charlie, Hank or George
Floating the Tigris Face down
Bloated, the uniform, what’s left of it
Hoisted on a TV screen, and umm yes
Professor Hump is stroking his chin
Admiral Fuchs has drawn the line
George, or is it Harry, what do you think
President Loopsky is talking about?
You, face down with some commodity at risk
But you wouldn’t know what it is
Because you’re dead and you wouldn’t have
Gotten the drift before the stock soared anyway
Jim, no Harry, George, we’re thinking about you
And we understand you have given much
As have your comrades, all of them
Lumbering along the bombed out brains
The computerized, video that is them
George, oh I’m sorry, I forgot, Ken
Lydia, Samantha, no Heather, or is it Sam
Lying in the sand between the toothpaste commercial
The rush to Hummers and home loans
The foot long subs, the long legged dreams
The Freedom Credit Card they promised you
Harry, yes, we understand

Smoking Too Much

I think you smoke too much
or not enough.
I think I drink too much and do.
Somewhere between the think of air
and the not enough our eyes meet
and we go to the movies
take long hikes in the woods
meet in strange corners of the world.
We poach salmon with watercress
fresh basil
green onions
celery, oil and wine.
We scald it with sesame oil
and eat it with fingers and friends
passing through the strange carnival.
where it’s not warm enough to
put up the merry-go-round
and too cool to take it

Upon Hearing of the Suicide of a Former Lover

Once you rang in my ears
Driving west to New York State
For late night booze and jazz.
“You’re quick on the stick,” you said.

I see you, my blue-eyed X Ray tech.
Child of Doctor Campbell’s Cabbage Patch
Albany Med, Neuro and east
Where we met, drank, made love

On your front porch where I
See you lie. Your mother
And father just inside
Anxious for our wedding

Your brother nuts in bed. Sister
Pretty, yet suspicious. Kid
Brother, a baseball nut.
We certainly were a haunt.

Now I see your fear after
Driving nights through North Bennington
Where I missed the curve, banged
The stone bridge and crashed

Into the front porch of the empty house
How we drove off wild-eyed
Fixed our dents, chipped grills
Our total wreck a dance

I see you hold up your finger
To make a point from
The Newton boy’s lap.
Those last days we held

Hands and your small
Breasts that needed my child-self
My fist swiping the party
The pain, the small fights

Until the until became real
And now I read where you
Mother of three ten years later
Hanged yourself in an attic

On a street I barely knew.
A you I never saw or could
forgive for what was then
I see you turn on the rope

Your tongue-thick death
Last breath held in silence.
A long, thin why amidst
The because of when


Wasn’t it fun when we went crazy?
And made love in the woods.
The leaves fell as we came
and the branches scratched your back?
We got drunk, ripped our clothes off
and beat the bejusus out of each other?
Wasn’t it fun to make love afterwards?
Wasn’t it fun to cry like that?
Talk about love and marriage?
Hold hands in the parking lot
with our brains in our pockets?
Wasn’t it fun to be sensual
and not give a damn about anything else.
Our tongues turned raw, your cunt got sore
my cock gave up and our minds exploded?
Wasn’t it fun to devastate ourselves
in two short months?
Wasn’t it beautiful hell?

Late Late Show

Don’t listen to them
Go ahead and do what you damn well please
Relax, Enjoy, Switch to Channel 3
Turn your life around any
Half-assed way it suits
You and SIT ON IT

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