Grade A: Goodbye, Mr Parakeet

Written in Albuquerque (Terrace SE), April 2004.  This poem makes more than a small homage to Eliot’s “Prufrock.”  Jessica Posniak (now Jess Lionne) thought “faintkneed wind” was over the top:  but isn’t the whole poem?  Published in my books If I Could Be the Stone and Wings of the Gray Moon, in the local zine Central Avenue and in the journal Skidrow Penthouse.

Goodbye, Mr Parakeet

 

He would sit, his cappuccino gently freezing,

at his peculiar table

on the renovated ocean dock

with its upscaly kioskfaces gazing gray into the sky

and no dead or dying leaves anywhere,

both hands on his aching cane.

 

On specific weekdays

he’d have a lofty but piteous smile for the tourists,

a single smile

arrived at after hours of planning.

 

He wore black in the summer,

white in the winter

and no one was ever troubled for him.

 

He preferred bow ties,

the old sort that begin as one strip

and require to be entangled.

 

Somewhere halfway through his vigil

the tide would change

and left things would get lost

or lost things left,

and his eyes would become realms of snow

or of elmseed, falling voluminous

among faintkneed wind

to a ground swept quiet.

 

When he finally stood

the entire staff would emerge on the pier

and shyly, in unison, whisper

 

“Goodbye, Mr Parakeet.

  Goodbye

                    again.”

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