Number 2, title taken, as all my titles this month shall be, from the TOC of "Best Loved Poems of the American People." Comments are now working. Huzzah!
Is It a Sin to Love Thee?
You betcha and so much the better,hotstuff, As I'm trying deeply to recall: the way you Work it is not sanctioned by any church but This Sunday saloon whose set decoration reinforces A wandering eye: the dirty windows, jar of olives, Pimentos squinting down the clientele. Not mine: I'm Blind to all but your dirty underlines, italics, Words seedy with serifs in the undergrowth of vowels, The way you drink your whisky communion, say All the wrong kind of prayers, receive the bartender's Benediction. One more dollar for the collection basket And then we'll slide out together, darling, gone Inky into the black spaces between the streetlights, Their insistent buzzing, lost homily: What darkness Has joined together, let no man sunder apart.
Here is the first poem. It was written on a train, and on a bookmark, and therefore it is short. I have a wicked cold and was suffering from a form of caffeine poisoning, so probably not the next "Song of Myself" or whatever, but seriously, I now am full of Nyquil and thus illicit booze and so ha ha.
The Coming American
Something softly nineteen-forties, blouse pulled tight into a slender skirt. Let's be plain-spoken, black and white in silver print, albumen, the shining wave of a permanent. The hat-pin brigade is on its way, the return that keeps on giving, the reel spun backword, satanic lipsync in celluloid. Radio silence. The flag on film. The steaming train in station. Kiddo, don't cry. Your stilettos are out of the box.