Lakey Comess

Just yesterday

                               I thought of you, not realising
you changed your name to a couple of initials.

I see you kept up the scarf tradition but wonder
whether you continued to perform your great impression

of Ed Sullivan, with his coat hanger shoulders,
sweet talking a little Italian mouse.

What were they up to, those guys in their thirties and forties,
hanging around a couple of under-twenties

in an East Village apartment
(rent controlled, sixty-seven dollars a month)?

We were lucky to have survived all of that, the other, exploitative side
of the sixties, now ignored, or conveniently forgotten.

You followed your mother in business. I still search for mine,
every November, the day it is said that she died.

I hadn't heard of your death. Now that I know, I am sorry.

It's he says, she says

                               but I say there's still a case to answer,
statutory limitations not applicable.

Map out the impropriety, open a file,
prepare lines of questioning, reserve a defence.

Mere facts can rattle dubious theoreticians,
shrivel credentials without bias.


Would you say your honour is recognisable
or do you make your own standards,

rise above puddles of grey, moist, filthy affliction,
hard-edging conundrums?

Do you say nothing at all, accepting of definitions,
curling into spherical sleep?

There's a pause in the flow—time to
freshen your drink, seconds to kill.

You could fill it with a hearty confession,
pitch it through crevices in cross-examination,

bounce it off walls. When are you leaving?
or        Have you already gone?


It's not always clear-cut, when
so many backs are righteously turned.

Rescue is one possibility, as is one last kiss,
marking the end of a visit, long overdue.

We'll soon dine out on some of the stories,
leap over chairs, turn this way and that,

avoid any distracting feelings,
skies darkening with leftover distrust.

Home is a long-drawn-out journey, precarious,
scattering ash, insubstantial, wherever we go.

Certain good books

                are recommended for content, subjects canvassed,
focus on era, reed-straight, confident stride.

Large rook on fence surrounding garden, eyes at half-mast, imperious,
impeccable posture. Days pass inside a terrarium, gazing out.

The way forward is always to never look back. Faint as moth's shadow,
quiet as frond. That's what you refer to as more time (spent) out of doors.

Independence Day isn't celebrated here in July.
Attention is paid to the longest stretch of light, midsummer.

That holds no mystery,
no more than a tanguero's preoccupations
or those hidden in some other esoteric oeuvre.
Cha-cha is hardly (ever) mentioned.

Nature's fury puts paid to long term relationship.
Time for another walk.

A gala of headlines


                               followed by a welter of comment.
It's free with your breakfast serial, high definition product.

Three hefty teenage girls open super-size cellophane bags of
poisonous snack food, eat a few handfuls, discard the rest with wrapping
on common ground. Grandfathers turn in their graves.

Lightening strikes thrice.
Teeth are ground righteously in anger.


Pungent odour of skunk from a derelict building
turned out to be a lucrative urban farm.

Speculations about dislocation are not called for.

Prestige wanders into experience, bold typeface riddles the system.
Complex and confusing altogether when it isn't patently absurd.

Varied haircuts pose as grown men. Don't take any of this for granted.
Do you want praise for mundane lack of rigidity? Accolades?


Ugsome usage, if I say so myself, questionable advice, in my opinion.
Peevishness cautiously steps on frozen puddles.

Great lumbering beast, I just gave you a lungful.

Lakey Comess, born U S A in 1948, has lived in Israel, South Africa and the Orkney Islands in Scotland and now lives in Lanarkshire. She has contributed to Versal, Big Bridge, Gulf Stream, Milk, Side Reality, Shampoo, Hutt, Otoliths, Hamilton Stone Review, Mad Hatters' Review blog, On Barcelona, and other publications, also as Lakey Teasdale.
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