An inch closer to the flame

Was that death I heard downstairs,
rattling the pots & pans.
Was that My Maker I spotted,
on South Ocean Avenue with his thumb out,
hitching north toward Mar-a-Lago.
Was that a congressman I spied,
in the light of the quarter moon,
reading from the collected works,
of a great poet long gone on,
to his literary reward?
Let’s drink gin and discuss the market,
and the rise of the hedge fund cowboys,
and their three thousand-dollar shoes.

Press on.

Make sure the great and
glorious fires of freedom remain stoked.
Make your peace with the Big Guy,
but there is no need to go overboard.
You’ve had decades to explore Buddhism,
plenty of time to clean out the cobwebs,
maybe give  up the booze.
Don’t let them talk you into anything,
you  don’t need another vacuum cleaner,
another Volkswagen, or another juicer…

For crying out loud,
there hasn’t been a decent
communist, walking
42nd Street since 1956…
The Beats are dead.
The hippies have retired to Martha’s Vineyard
and to the Hamptons – and Sag Harbor.

Nobody reads the poets anymore.
Poetry doesn’t sell.
Reality sells…reality TV sells better.
Old men in suits sell reality TV.
Old poets die in overstuffed chairs
by the fire – the lucky ones.

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