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April 10, 2023_The Poet's Weekend

by Greg Harrell

The Poet's Weekend

today finds me

in a Billy Collins

or Ted Kooser

state of mind—

temporarily unmasked

at a coffee shop longtable,

I listen to Silent Hill music

and try to make working poems

out of last week’s fragments

the students next to me

are confounded by the idea

of a bathroom passcode

dogwalkers pull

varying dimensions of fluff

by nylon harnesses

the electric gallop of trains

carries several blocks over

to my otherwise empty apartment

my death (as always)

sits three tables behind me,

sipping a lavender London fog

and waiting to call time—

since a beautiful woman

in a torn rain slicker

fails to materialize,

I use assorted personal

artifacts to fill the spaces:

the lionhead griever pendant

I keep as a lucky charm

a Palestinian scarf (or keffiyeh)

matching the hazel gears

beneath my eyelids

an onyx dharma bracelet

and dirty dozen watch

different leather notebooks

to preserve my vanity

the most recent note

on my phone says:

“forget I was ever here”

sound advice—

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