Alzheimer’s Hostage Approaching the Terminal Stage

1.

Where am I? I want to go home.

 

Who’s paying for this meal? For this hotel?

What does my wife mean, she has the checkbook?

 

Why does she laugh when I tell her not to bother

visiting tomorrow, I won’t be here, no sir,

but on my way to the moon.

 

Where were you? I haven’t seen you for days.

“I was just here at lunch.” Oh, that’s all right, then.

2.

It’s the nightmare you can’t quite awaken from.

 

“God!” I’d cry, seemingly to no one.

 

As for me, I’d hoped to die before my mind quits.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.
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Young and freckled, a taste of possibility

usual stops before turning to reports

and preparations

she thought me compulsive? how complicated,

this retreat

sometimes I missed the old expense account

me, setting forth in an inconspicuous vessel

 

take what you want, leave the rest

down in those pirate shores where you lodge

nursing bluestockings or snot-nosed

models, Barbies, Ken dolls

with napkins or embarrassing rudeness

 

drop the rope away for weekends

it’s not Gunpowder Gorge, but

skiing up to posterity, the cracking wherever

you cast a critical damn (where some love the ambiguous

bargain in tux and spats, others

 

make the pitch run more smoothly

without the skull and crossbones

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

 

Pianist With Cottage Charm Drapes

A passerby told me of listening from the sidewalk.

Bach, Schumann, Debussy, usually,

so I throw in some Gottschalk and Beach.

 

What’s been lost is a sense of beauty

– or an orderly life in our era.

The war lust produces trash.

 

In my world, “greatness is simplicity”

and frugality can sharpen quality.

But I’ve been such a maniac hammering away

 

my husband accuses me of unhappiness

behind the perennial smile

as I play a pinball machine of particulars.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.

At what came on so quickly

the beast of seventeen

clocked in the slow-motion night

of first love, complete yielding and flush

wherein tragedy the making would revert

throughout life if it continue, for whatever

reason why does maturing in this land

take so damned long and yet everywhere

as a finger of such pointed sadness or hollowness

however small, wistful, unthinkable

when you are the center of these aerial fireworks

named for flowers, come down, baby,

all so briefly

so dry, so restless, so eagerly explosive

petals or seeds scatter in the air

 

toward the back of applause

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Caterer from Midway

My father was a man of the sea

who always felt confined ashore

and so he chose to retire to an island

between sailings.

 

My mother soon left for the plains.

 

The therapy started as a mansion of rooms

of my interests and it now appears

I’ve unlocked the central chamber,

the one that kept all the others disconnected.

 

I’ve found bodies not quite dead

but definitely decomposing

or not exactly human in their suffering.

 

We were moving into another Greek Revival house

needing repair, after leakage on our sleeping bags.

A group of four, my sister was one, on the floor.

 

“It doesn’t have to be this way,” Lala purred,

meaning us, as I nuzzled an earlobe.

Someone we knew, a friend of her father,

or mother, was getting married.

 

“They’re so close, the other couple

won’t even get them a present”

– much less help with the cake.

 

The flowers on our street side

stood to impress the public.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.

If I were 19 again

I’d look for an older woman

out in a plateau or broad valley or

snap of a typeface, whatever that figure

at least 23, somebody of perspective and intelligence

at least a clearing, quieting arrangement of lines

(recently I came across what’s supposed to be

an ancient Greek outlook of marriages

between either older women/younger men

or younger women/older men an arrangement that, in the end,

kept everything in balance and overcame problems of inexperience

most run into, one way or another

 

for now I could be confined to a small island

just a bum of a half-assed, fully-engaged recluse

with little interest in going about

under a holy covering or quarantine

even talking to other humans seems alien these days

me, always one to thrive on maximum stimulation

now in a curious reverse just getting down to the existing backlog

 

still, in this solitude i’m finding difficulty

maintaining an equilibrium day after day

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Storyteller as a Pennywhistle Piper

My best friend accuses me of intensity

and idealism to the point

I can’t stand masks or surface clutter.

 

I hate it when she calls me scattered and spacey

having overlooked the betrayal of an ideal

or the muddy villain. Or even lost

my new eyeglasses again.

 

How can once upon a time ever be impractical

or economically frustrating or entrapping?

The children you follow are always the prettiest

or most handsome.

 

It’s the adults who are high-strung, emotional,

with buried anger, hurts, and resentments

in a troubled kingdom or forest.

 

If it weren’t for a band, I’d be arranging wildflowers

or pouring tea into fine porcelain

alone in my home garden.

 

But listen, now, to all that comes forth

on a cheap penny-whistle in my hands.

The way these old dance tunes tell a story.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.

Unlike that old Basque up on the ridge

I never expected to find any happiness

in celibacy, years later (in another hand

I find: “someone needs therapy

and it’s not you”) here, I thought myself alone

 

highly compressed

quicksilver

music boxes

lathe crystals

 

to the rhythm of a gallop or a gait

while popularity went shopping for marriage

such a contrast to steadiness, even with this crisis du jour

the embroidery became reliability versus delusion

 

behold the teeth in her mouth! such hunger

the gunslinger flees through the auction house

phases of loving, moon seasons – the infatuated

transformation bordering lewd cannibalism

come away with nuggets, for the assay office

titration and filtration who says the dead are bitter?

 

Holsteins congregate in a spring meadow

the four colors of the lakota streamer

yellow red black white

colors of human races

 

the rabbit’s getting a double-chin

with the shimmering, then, with children

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
For more, click here.

Temple Monkey as a Third-Grader

We went on a boat.

We went on a plane.

We took a train to Chicago

where I saw a man cut up into a thousand pieces.

 

I’m going to be an astronaut or rock star

if I grow up. Did I say I like big roller coasters.

‘cause I like to scream, but I’m no ninny?

 

My daddy, my mommy, my sister, my brother,

my grandpa and grandma

are all scarier than Halloweening.

 

Can anyone tell me why bird poop is white?

My teacher put me in a corner.

 

Tina is fat.

 

I’m hungry.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.

Medieval Cage Lantern Receptionist

With all these gimcracks and geegaws

no relentless cinder

chants mantras in primary colors.

 

Before secretly practicing zazen

Boone clean forgot my rattling stainless steel pans

with the great heart of a grizzly bear.

 

No matter what, I’m no orbiting tapeworm

wrapped in orange troubles ahead

of some Lichtenstein nudes.

 

When I’m dizzy, I’m not a double-door

much less shatterproof cursing

when you finally shout I’m no dangerous rat fuck.

 

That’s not just no, it’s fuck no.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Somersworth, New Hampshire.