Poetry by Richard Kovac

She liked Rod Mckuen
and Kahlil Gibran a lot
(even when I did not).
Women are pastels and red.
"For better or worse I am
an intellectual," she said.
And together we read
the 'intellectual section'
or comics, in full
and ignored the news,
that we were doomed.
Better poets
make better people.

Nudest Colony: Looking Back
It seems like clothes make the man.
The advice in Hamlet,
"Costly your habit as your
purse may bear," is apt.
A conservative business suit
justifies embezzling.
A cape may justify rape.
Waving a condom and wearinq it
might mitigate adultery.
Waving the flag
justifies killing the enemy.
Wouldn't we all be better off
at a nudist colony,
or "sky-clad" like some bizarre,
sane Jain. In that respect.
I almost went
to a Mensa Nudist Camp
thirty-five years aqo,
but we were too clothed
in our deshabille.
Nowadays I wear slacks.

Looking Back: 1966
(for G.L. in Denmark)
It might have been
Geoffrey and I.
At McSorley's,
with sawdust
on the floor.
We order a beer, each.
We are on the job
two or three months
at Boro Hall
in Brooklyn
of Ebetts Field Days.
McSorley's does not
admit women yet.
To say they never would
is now a losinq bet.
If we had clarified
everything then
and there - cards on the table -
would we have spent our
lives trying to be poets
without sense or rhyme?

Ten O'clock
Cold wind and clear night air
breathe in the heady atmosphere
of summer nights and golden trysts
of adolescents drunk in the pits.
It is the chic, the abvience.
This is the way it was with us,
thirty years ticking by the clock ago,
but now at last we keep our lust in tow.
The cycle repeats.
A loop or loops for every song.
Is reality a slip knot?
It's ten o'clock. Do you know
where your children are?

It is a cool Wisconsin summer -
pleasant enough, but no indication
of "global warming everywhere".

I miss the Atlantic Ocean,
now a degree higher to support Gore.

I miss Coney Island and the rides;
Wildwood; Cape May; Seaside Heights -
the breaking waves or salty spray
on the lobster skin of my youth
and rain that tasted of the ocean.

Lake Michigan is not the Atlantic
and New Jersey is native heath.
But I have gotten to like cows.
I'm content now.
I will be buried here.

There is no need
to go back "home"
and stir up dead bones.

With this wistful sigh
I reach age sixty-five
& join AARP.
Hurrah for me?

Francesco Bernadone
I call you by your surname,
but to most you
are 'St. Francis of Assisi',
who was a poet like me,
in my minor, if worldly way.
You called the sun your brother
and water your sister
in the great poem you wrote,
that in reality was your life.
If I looked for you,
where would I find you?
Even your Friars Minor
have lost the sight of you.
I hail you as poet in verse,
and life, and stigmata.
You died with Christ.
You joined him at Gethsemane.
Now he is risen,
and yours the victory.
Pray for me.

Return to Port Of Call Home Page
Return to April/May 2010 Table of Contents