Gary Glauber is a poet, fiction writer, teacher, and former music journalist. His works have received multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. He champions the underdog to melodic rhythms of obscure power pop. His two collections, Small Consolations (Aldrich Press) and Worth the Candle (Five Oaks Press), and a chapbook, Memory Marries Desire (Finishing Line Press), are available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publishers.
The famous poet was sitting on his hotel bed naked.
My head told me to blame the San Francisco he had known.
This was a different world, not necessarily a better one.
I lit another votive candle to define my personal space.
He stroked his stubble and seemed to be deep in thought.
I had been warned about his gruff proclamations of regrets.
At this late stage, he was mostly vituperative bluster,
but somewhere in there were remnants of a once great mind.
He was confused: was I a reporter, a suitor, a fan, a potential lover?
I let the silence respond appropriately, and tried hard not to judge.
Heroes grow old, but that rarely keeps them from still publishing.
Even long after their muse has fled they fill the page with blather.
I nodded my head and listened, more for the man he once was
than the grousing spectacle cursing the universe around him.
I conjured respect from deep within my aging poetic heart,
knowing some not-so-distant day, the old naked man might be me.
Let’s call it privilege, this even tan
that accents your thin-lipped beauty.
You are accustomed to attention.
You have the moves down to a science.
Your curves fit the spoon of his body
like the sweet satisfaction of puzzle piece
dropping into place. Another small victory.
Aesthetic symmetry, warmth of touch
that ignites a landslide of vertical excitement.
You close your eyes and fold in half,
all sense memory and intention,
as eager for exploration as Vasco da Gama,
that first count who first counted
the curious balance of delectable favors,
spices as exotic as sin, following the wind
to a foreign shore’s salvation, a destination.
Carefully placed parts run your ship’s master inventory
and you are safely billeted within him,
customized and sleek, a calling card for sexy
who can bend a will with a well-placed laugh,
a complicated charmer from voyage launch
to arduous journey, the passage of time contracting
like heat lamps of lovers placing
soft lips on skin in expectation.
This is home, mortise and tenon
sliding into perfect joint, wave after wave
pitching with the fickle tides, yet two as one
stay locked in the beauty of collegiality
gone private. On a handshake, you agree
to conditions and then initial the codicils
that define the way this will work,
covering the face of the globe,
mouth to motor to mission statement,
Evinrude outboard propelling forward
and you smile at the feeling, the rush
of chop you leave in your wake.
Privilege unleashed, powers granted,
waves of wonder defining sea change
that can never be undone.
The child you once were vanishes
into past oblivion. You’ve won.