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"WHAT WILL YOU DO TO KEEP 'HEART AND SOUL' TOGETHER
AS THE YEAR RUNS DOWN INTO ANOTHER?"
(response to a note on an X-mas card from an old friend)
Write poems, of course.
Perhaps fall in love with a strange cashier
who works in a small grocery store
in a poor part of town
or at the Goodwill or Salvation Army.
Pet my cat.
When depressed in winter
make cocoa & toast.
Or eat a homemade dill pickle
from an old Polish neighborhood.
In springtime & summer
a bobber plunking down
among the lilypads is ecstasy,
the chittering & scolding of redwing blackbirds
music to my heart.
Drink a bottle of good beer
play with my dick,
watch birds perched on old tv antennas -
the list is endless.
I think it is the small things
that keep heart & soul together -
a small child dancing in a puddle
after the rain,
putting a new pair of shoelaces
on your old shoes,
baking a lemon merengue pie
even if for nobody,
or just browsing books at the library
on a gray winter day.
Or maybe I'll contract some terrible disease
& become a sad pain in the ass for everyone
while I continue to smoke cigarettes
& drink more beer
& drag my broken body
to the art museum
for one last look at the Modigliani
& Van Gogh
& that American painter
famous for painting the moon.
Or simply feed a rascally squirrel.
These are some of the things
that will keep "heart and soul" together -
especially those odd
& strangely beautiful cashiers
with lost & wistful eyes,
perhaps much like my own.