Sonnets of praise, some erotic, some lamentations, and some street sonnets
I never wanted to be known for longevity
But for brilliant, tragically interrupted brevity.
Immortality is all about brevity, dear heart.
You lay your head on my arm and soon your eyes
Close and your breathing is slow, your sweet
Lips part, where we lie on your bed crosswise,
The cars whispering past on the dark street.
My eyes get misty when I think of Julie Christie—
If a man wished to be kissed he
Would want it to be her lips.
Darling Julie, I love you truly,
You’d make a king a fool— he
Would launch a thousand ships.
Christine was the smartest girl in the eleventh grade,
Tall with dark hair tied up in a tight French braid,
The only girl I knew who read Albert Camus,
And for that very reason I did, too.
Anoka in July on a placid Saturday
Waiting for you and your Chevy (blue)
To come by and carry lonesome me away,
And here is a green Chevy which is not you.
She’s a show girl, my girl, hands on hips,
Best foot forward and a million-dollar smile—
‘I’ve got sunshine’ and she spins, shimmies, dips—
Hey! It’s America’s No. 1 ten-year-old child.
I went dancing one night in East Lansing
And Minot was hot as could be
I found what my heart wants in Oshkosh, Wisconsin,
And in Omaha saw a home what’s for me
Up in the sky the lovers lay in bed
Naked, face to face and hip to thigh,
Her leg between his, his arm beneath her head,
Their hands roaming freely, up in the sky.
Frankie and Johnny were lovers and swore to be true
To each other and it didn’t take him all that long
Before he went to the hotel with You Know Who
And got busy doing Miss Frankie wrong.
I’m a radio man for thirty-some years
Doing an old variety show
Based on some I used to hear
When I was your age long ago.