Did the Beats start their sets on time?
I waited for the cool jazz, for a dancing upright bass in the dappled green, backed against hill,
cool beats, words playing with rhythm, strings and syllables descrying the human condition.
I waited, wondering why audience here must wait for audience there. Thirty minutes late, dudes!
but when D-man struck a chord and finger-danced on guitar strings
I forgave jazz absence, tardiness, miserable neighbours, and cane wielding attendees being forced
to hobble down uneven lanes (blue bruises today from the straining).
At least this year it wasn’t raining, the splatter was patter of voices being cool in the heat.
The poets read The Beats or the wanna-be Beats or the bed-mates of Beats, and I watched
an ant wrestle a kernel of corn across the ground to their long ago voices.
I do not wrestle railway container cars, but that ant had high hopes, until he abandoned it
to drag off a fallen comrade whether for cannibal feast or sacred burial in Antshillvania, I didn’t care.
A week on campus, rock bed, longing for the man at home,
my heart gave up poetic posing. I admitted tonight my heart wasn’t in this verse game.
After more hobbling down the long, dangerously uneven lane
for someone walking with a cane, cursing parking and cars.
I turned at my old high school, gasping at the glinting copper sun that hung
a molten disk, poetic sky writing the poets under trees were missing,
like that sky was kissing me good-bye while I traced the highway north
with high apple pie in the sky hopes of my own.