Poetry by Richard Kovac

The Nursery School Summer House
After the lady bug flew away,
we chased a butterfly around.
Our hands smelled of the grass,
and our clothes were dirt-soaked.
I was a comic book intellectual
who was as yet illiterate,
and you borrowed my comic books
to look, like me, at the pictures.
We were married in the summer house,
and I chastely kissed you
with a piece of felt between our lips.
Several years later I was still
carrying your books and walking you home.
The last time I saw you I had
become an atheist and I was eating
a ham sandwich with lots of mustard
in the delicatessen across from your
tenement, where you still lived.
You said, "You're Richard."
And I said, "Yes, you're Alicia."
But she was the Alpha and Omega
of my infancy.

And Many Are Edible
What, then, are flowers?
There can be no full book of poems
without mentioning the flowers,
They are pretty.
But mostly I have esteemed them
with my sheer disregard.
They are the incidental beauty,
while your's seems, and is, intrinsic.
I know there are peonies,
bougainvillea, daffodils, irises,
tulips, and black eyed susans.
A black eyed susan might distract me.
And they are all decorative sewn buttons
on the hued cloak of the earth, and
any child is gleeful to wear them, and
be bright.
"Such garb outdoes the tassels of Kings,
or the robes of secret fraternity."
But, to be honest with you,
I often don't know what one
is which,
Too often I identify them
by color only.
"The pink flower over there."
"The flower with the funny yellow."
A man might ask why things that fade and wilt
so quickly get such exotic terminology,
so exotic it is hard to keep track of them.
But I like them too,
and many of them are edible.

From The Journal of Thoreau
I celebrate Obscurity.
Fame is Shackles.
Freedom is Found
in not being Known
and in fewer Nods.

Quatrain From My Lamentable Youth
poetry is claptrap;
elegance is bunk.
all that's good is loinsap,
and my blue funk.

Tale of Woe
Find me an idealistic proctologist
to listen to my tale of woe.
I have been much abused all along.
You would weep to hear my song.
My suffering was not for humanity
mainly, of course, but for my vanity,
which i cannot escape any more than
my mocking shadow, Woe is me!
I'm in Kokomo Without Hilda.
I have always been in the wrong place,
at the wrong time, for the wrong reason.
A colleague said once,
a scornful colleague saith once,
"You're a misfit wherever you go."
I know how much time I have wasted
going the way of self-absorption
and self-pity, My wife reminds me
to do the dishes to help out,
My complaints are like little
compared to yours.

High Kudos
A haiku
antlers of such beasts
congratulate the night sky -
as if stars were spoor.

The sphinx asked me
a question.
I answered,
and I was right.
Now I forget
what the question was
to which "Man"
is the answer,

Requiescat In Pace
I know, or believe,
that death is an illusion.
Nevertheless I cannot call you
or write you a long letter,
and I will never vacation
at your house in Bloomfield again.
Excuse me for missing you
and distracting myself
from your absence
with inanities
like old television movies.
But you were never one
to criticize me much.

Return to Port Of Call Home Page
Return to April/May 2005 Table of Contents