Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gene McCormick- Three Poems

Barnes & Noble

Serene, doing nothing to attract attention
as she sits reading in the bookstore,
right leg crossed over the left,
slowly flipping through a women’s
fashion magazine with a similar  publication
across her lap. There is no hurry today.
Unobtrusive mid-length strawberry blonde hair
is parted on the left and is long enough to drape
across her lightly freckled face.
With a complexion so fair and with
such a hair color, freckles would be expected
(actually, her hair is more of a deep auburn—
no, completely red—than strawberry blonde).
A thin gold necklace with small glass insets
defines her slim neck and her clothes
are stone perfect for a warm day:
short, pale green summer weight jacket over a
blue-gray tank top and denim mini skirt.
As her leg involuntarily bounces,
dark leather sandals can be seen.
They look new.
Putting the fingers of her left hand
to her mouth to pinch her lips
or absently rub her nose or touch her cheek,
a wedding ring is evident although
a woman of her age—mid-twenties
and so pristine—
seems young to be committed to marriage.

She wears no finger or toe polish.

Overhearing nearby conversations,
her eyes unfocus but stay on the magazine page
as she smiles with just the corners of her mouth,
laying her free hand against a large,
black plastic weave purse.
The conversations continue;
she is a silent partner.

110 Film

110 film? Decades-ago black and white rolls
in yellow boxes painstakingly hooked
to sprockets inside a sturdy box camera.
A dime-sized circular window on the
camera back shows the photo number
through a transparent red plastic cover,
the film hand-cranked to the correct position
to produce remembrances of vacations,
special events and family members
immortalized by the click of a button.
Neanderthal mechanics by digital standards,
the results weren’t half bad,
nowadays turning up at flea markets
and swap meets, encased in
maroon cardboard-covered scrapbooks
or trays of curling, yellowing memories.

Wood Chips In The Grass

Wanted it to be a cherry tree, but no;
it was a mature oak cut flat to the ground,
sawed, pounded and glued into a set of
four chairs setting around a kitchen table .

In a seldom-used upstairs bedroom facing north,
a cherry wood chest-of-drawers backs up
to floral wallpaper on the far wall,
filled with sheets, blankets, linens and clothes
out of season and long out of size.
A faded red, yellow, orange oblong swatch
of an Indian-design blanket drapes across
the chest top, protection from scratches
and other casual harms, except dust.

At the elbow where driveway intersects
with road by the edge of the front yard
there is a noticeable dip, or hollow
—far too slight to be considered a gully—
where the oak stood. Many seasons passed
before the ripped shreds of small limbs fed to
the chipper were finally absorbed into the soil.

The kitchen is seldom used, abandoned
for a flat screen TV on the family room wall,
the leather L-shaped sectional, coffee table,
bookcase and French doors with sun
thrusting through to the hardwood.
Nobody eats in the kitchen.

Brief Bio: Paparazzi have reported that Gene McCormick gets poetic inspiration from tossing back tequila shooters with Lindsey Lohan, worm included. No truth to that at all; McCormick doesn’t drink worms, Lohan is on the wagon.

1 comment:

  1. Your painter's eye does an excellent job of storytelling within these poems.