Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Poem #11-2011: Were It Today

Were It Today

I remember your musky sweet smell
and cannot think of any possible
way to make that sound romantic

You colored your hair
very dark against your creamy white skin

Back then, that made you a “slut”
Were it today, no one would notice

My friends did not support my choice in you
Regrettably, I succumbed to their smallness
and not to your sweet passion

I’ve since learned to resist the web of others,
learned to spin my own destiny

Were it today
I might be smelling you on
the pillow beside me
this cold sad morning

Were it today

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jack's Ghost: A Kerouac Poem by Rick Dale


I trippled down Adler –
Adler, you know, Kerouac Alley
San Fran, between Vesuvio’s and
City Lights, mecca for a beat –
Anyway I was trippling, man
(if that makes any sense
– that’s two p’s by the way)
and it’s the only
word can describe walking
where my heroes walked
and wrote and drank and yelled
and all the rest

Wow! It made me high just being there
And of course I was fantasizing about seeing Jack
hanging around, maybe leaning up against
the brick wall mural outside the bar
sketching in a notepad
like it was 1947
wearing a flannel shirt, work pants, black railroad shoes
Yair! (That’s beat for an emphatic “Yes”)

But the alley was empty
except for some tourists taking pictures
of each other and I ended up sitting on the floor
upstairs in City Lights
cross-legged and
reading Mexico City Blues (again)
and just about the 103rd chorus
I heard a sexy gone voice behind me
whisper a breathy "Who’s your favorite?"

Without looking to see my angel in waiting
I wrote "Kerouac" on a blank page
in my little black notebook,
like the kind I imagine Jack used
but it was a Moleskine and he’d never spend
that much on a notebook, you know
but just the same I
stuck my pen in the fold
and passed it behind me without looking
I felt it taken out of my nervous hand

An eternity fell on my shoulders
until a giggle, a sweet silky titter of a laugh
Too afraid, I didn’t look back
Something touched my shoulder
I reached and felt my notebook
The pen was still in it
I looked inside and there
under Jack’s name was written
"I was here"
I turned around to see
my beat angel –
There was no one in sight . . .
Whoever, whatever was one fast
move beyond gone

You can bet I won’t forget
that trip anytime soon
not even in the jangly
railyard earth of Jack’s
darkest road fantasies

This poem contributed to
dVersePoets Open Link Night #13.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.