Poetry by Richard Kovac

The One Missing at the Party
They invited me
to their party,
but if I had one
there would have been
all the standing around
drinking coffee
and eating danish.
Conversation would
have developed
around the table; sitting.
Contact is abrasive to me.
They will probably
not invite me again.

The Last Man
It may be a long wait.
But I will not enter
into ecstasy
quite without you
though you shun me
and hold my name
forbidden and accursed.
Would I recognize you?
Would you know me?
Would the first man
to the last man
be laughing stock?
Is my brow too indented?
Are my manners too demented?
I am patient.
I will embrace you
when the last are first.

Machine Age
The Motor is
the new heart.
is the new blood.
How far we have come
from the donkey!
With our hands
and brains -
which God gave us -
we have made a world
to primitive man,
who would attribute
the movement
of its parts
to demons.
The danger is
that we will become
as mechanical
as our machines;
already we are too
mechanical indeed
and have become cogs
instead of subjects.
Yet the genius
of my quartz watch
continues to amaze me.

His goal in life
was to offend
as few as possible.
He never fought
for an idea
or kicked a bad guy
in the derriere.
Should we praise him
or call him insipid?
Is he a Christian
or just indifferent.
But he stood for nothing.
That is what he inherits.

The Golden Goat
I salute the golden goat!
Unlike the molten calf
Israel worshiped
in the desert,
the golden goat
is useful
in chewing up
and recycling
aluminum cans,
and spews out quarters
and dimes and nickels
in exchange.
A child can operate it,
and he loves to.

Every supermarket should
have one.

Treasure Hunt
My best poems are the ones
that never saw the light of day
because I sent them out
and didn't keep copies,
or else, if they were published,
languished in some little magazine
that I later lost track of.
Why is it that what we retain
seems less
than the unobtainable out of hand?
I think the elusive
has a certain magic
in every sphere,
the way the grass is greener
on the other side -
but, thanks, because
if I had got to be
poet laureate of Wisconsin
my head would have swelled
with pride,
and I'd be demanding groupies
on the side.

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