You can't understand it.
You stand there from twenty plus years away
Hands on hips and shaking your head.
You didn't do it.
The State University was good enough for you.
You were almost pre-med anyway.
In twenty years, you assure me,
This will all look silly.
In twenty years, I will be old and tired.
In twenty years, I may be dead.
I am not a beer commercial,
Nor a rat in cage.
Some day two years from now
I will leave the way I came
Just one more kid on a Greyhound bus headed east
But with a small bit of glory that matters
And a letter saying this is really mine.
If you had anything to offer
You would not drag me here against my will.
If what you did was really important
You would not need to stand at the front of the room and
Hear the rest of us stroke your ego.
You would not need dancers in indecent skirts
With goosebump on their thighs
Or a brass band to send you into battle.
I have an exam to study for
I have a great novel to read.
Maybe I want to sneak down to the convenience store
Or sleep in the library
If you had anything to offer....
Maybe I'd be interested.
H. K. Guerrin
Bechstein Name Game
When you are little
You learn what to call people.
If they are younger you don't call them anything.
If they are older they are aunt or uncle,
Unless they are your parents or grandma or grandfather.
If they are your age, you can call them cousin
Late at night the phone rings.
It is California -- "This is Iria, may I please speak with Cousin Haldis"
"Bonsoir Oncle Georges. C'est Haldis. Peut-je parler avec Cousine Viridianne
s'il vous plait"
I can call them in two languages
Caltha lisps out titles
And then proclaims proudly she can be called "cousin."
Tyhpa is too little to be called anything
Aunt Thadea laments all this business with calling.
Hear her crying and sighing, when Caltha does her boasting
Hear her crying and sighing until of course the phone rings.
"Yes this is cousin Thadea...."
Once you are called you can never forget it.
I am a junkie
I need my fix.
Under the bright lights
Half way betweenn school and home
It waits behind the glass cases
So many colors and several flavors to choose from.
The clean cut teen in the blue apron at the counter
Makes this an anonymous transaction.
I like to wait before I drink my soda.
I hide it in my backpack and take it to my desk.
It is my friend while I study
Until it gives up all it has
And I save the can for a refund on the deposit.