Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Hopefully things are clear now. Let me know if this works.

Clumps of Brown Hair

When he makes love to the young girl
what does the middle-aged long-married
man say to himself and the girl?
- that lovers live and desk clerks perish?

Al Purdy, “Married Man's Song”

When it's late
And I remember her face,
Excited, flashing under
The come-and-go streetlights
Flaring past
At one hundred miles per hour
As I try to rush her home on time,
What am I supposed to say to her now?
A cold handshake and wish her the best?

Those kind words
Would come out layered
Thick in honey and venom,
A spit in the face wrapped
With a crinkled red bow,
An offered hand, septic.

That would be a disservice
To the years that slipped down
The drain, staring in the mirror
And cutting my hair
At one in the morning,
Trying to get each trace of
Months-old smell gone
With the buzz of a razor.

That ride to her house
I lied to her and said
That desk clerks die.
Clumps of brown hair
On white tile floor
And the clerks still
Have their wooden desks.


Josh said...

beautiful. I like this one the best.

Last stanza is my favorite.

Jeremy L said...

that extra bit really clears things up- very nice work.

with the background, it makes not only the last stanza better, but EVERYTHING. perhaps al purdy will be on my list of things to read now, too.

Jamal said...

I agree. That did the trick.