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.