Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Loneliest Man Alive meet Ruth Deming / Poem: Wade in the Water Dry

O my poor Obama. How hard we all fought in 2008. What hopes we had. Health care for all. Wall Street reform. Saving the economy. A return to the good ole Middle Class. He done good. We're proud of him.

He told the Times, some elections are more fun than others.

I spent a lonesome Tuesday nite in bed with my aching leg. It's sort of like a whole new organism, an offshoot from my body that grew outa there like a tail or a third leg. I hunkered under the covers all nite listening to the jazz station and hugging my leg.

Took all my meals upstairs in bed. Went rhru my Phone Book and called everyone in there including Barbara Postel and husband Carlos Guerrero who live in Point Pleasant PA. Barb has a number of YouTube Channels. Very creative woman. She'll come to my 65th birthday party.

Took all my nerve to call some folks up. Former boyfriend Simon died in February of 2008. I called up his sister Dot and spoke to husband Ron. They have a huge brilliant but distant family. I'd wrin a poem about Ron and Dot and was basing my phone conversation on what I remembered from my poem, the day Simon and I finally went to visit them.

Simon was a first-class procrastinator. I told Ron that the last time I drove by Si's house the plumbing supply company next door had utilized it for their own purposes. Where are all his trees? He loved those trees. And the 'flags' he planted in memory of his mother, Genevieve.

Before I print the poem, here's who else I called: Jim Berry used to be our accountant. He's my age. Mid-60s. His wife Donna suffered four aneurysms. They froze her body or something while they did surgery. Finally she's doing okay. Was in rehab a long while but is now returning home.

How's business, Jimbo? I asked.

It's slow this time of year, he said.

One day I drove down to his Warrington home. He made me a ham sandwich and we ate it on the kitchen table. Ham on rye. Delicious.

Jim, I said, this is the closest we're gonna get to having sex.


The fenced-in yard
was black with birches
and pines that
whisked the sky.
zoomed up stilts
waiting for the quiver
of arrival.

All this from the kitchen window,
my first visit with Simon’s kin,
postponed as long as I dared.
Then one day we dressed
and went.

His sister Dot
welcomed me,
the woman who saved her brother
from the shudder of divorce.
I moved around the kitchen
with great familiarity,
spotting in the corner
a plastic bowl
stuck with the last bits
of untasted meat.
Oh, laughed Dot, untying her apron,
Old Suze never finished her lunch,
and told me in high-pitched trills
where to find her,
the cat they rescued from a
turnpike rest stop
the year Ron put in
the elms.

I walked across the
living room
the sofa and chairs
curved like motionless dolphins
waiting for something to happen
and parted the gauzy curtains.
There she was,
Miss Suze,
reclining in the sun,
poised as a woman in furs.
She quivered at my arrival.

Back in the den,
the room where they lived,
bowls of pretzels
and salted nuts had been
set out on the coffee table,
my ginger ale
freshened and
replaced on its coaster.

Ron, the planter of trees,
lay sunk in the blue shine
of his recliner,
an architectural wonder
supporting the man
and his white newsboy shorts.
The company he worked for,
going on forty-one years,
had forgotten how to make money.
Ron was calm, telling us how
nothing worked anymore.
The bankers hovered like crows.

Ron was a fisherman,
visiting rocky shores and
sand-filled slopes, walking
alone in cold misty waters
where fingers froze,
cramped shut like claws.
And wore those waders.

I asked Ron what waders were.
Like overalls, he said.
You pull them up past your waist, then
wade through the water dry.

I imagined Ron
pulling on his extra-large
waterproof trousers,
soft as deerskin leggings,
carrying him,
and his legs, dry as fishbones,
into the
dimly lit
waters of
night become morning.


  1. Sorry for the pain - both in your body and at the ballot box.

    Let us hope it gets better on both fronts.

  2. slowly, mr kracker, very very slowly. lemme check in with you. must be getting light north by alaska.

  3. Yes so much pain. Americans have short and faulty memories and either expected miracles or else (as I really believe) were waiting in the shadows ready to lynch, our President, even if only figuratively. Really nice poem and a few lines I especially enjoyed.

    Sorry you are still having bodily pain too and wish it were gone.