Blood Longings

Blood Longings
Art by Norman E. Masters


            I am turning

end over end like a bright silver coin

           flashing in the sunlight.

           It's rugged!  Twenty three years

spinning above the earth.  Am I heads or am I tails ?

           I don't know yet.

It's so embarrassing to be alive !

We wear our doubts like overcoats

even though it's eighty degrees in the shade.

Our rationalizations have a sour taste

and begin to reek of inverted jealousies.

         "It must be the heat."

                             Forgive him, senorita

for desiring you.

                 His heart was in his mouth

                 all afternoon.  He felt warm & cool

                 all at the same time.  In his head

                 first it was yes then it was no.

                                 He did not possess enough


          in his charm.  So he resorted to cunning.

He decided to flip a coin.  Heads yes, tails

no.  Regrettably, it came up


     "I guess I came on too strong."

                                   You didn't even know her name

yet.  But then again you don't know

      the name of your mailman either.

      Is this really any less of a crime ?

      Why any day now he might deliver a

      draft summons, and off you'd go into

      the foreign legion.

                         Just like that.

                            ( snap! )

      One can't be too careful these days.

      The IRS may not-so-secretly decide

      they really hate your poetic guts and

      that you could use a little shaking up.

      Just to let you know they're watching.

      If you knew your mailman by name

             you could say " Hold it, Elijah!

      No way on God's green earth I want this

             here letter.  Five dollars sez

      I've moved to Siberia.  I want to live to be a thousand ! "

      I'm not a coward,

                       I'm merely practical.

                   There is a pendulum in my heart

      swaying to and fro between the cynical

                   and the ideal.

      I'd much rather smash this grandfather clock

          And get it over with,

               but I can't.  ( Or I won't. )

          What's more

                      I don't know how...

                                      ...and perhaps the shock would kill me.

         Yes, yes I confess, let my great crime be known !

          I need love.  Living scares me to death.

      But life is no novel no matter how good.

             It is life !  Fiction arrives second hand

      from existence.  Not the other way around.

      Don't let me become the page you left white

               in your diary, my dearest stranger.

                                                  Forgive me life

      for desiring you.

                       I did not possess enough


                in my charm.  So I resorted to cunning.

      Twenty three years!       It's rugged!

john mach/
March 24-78'

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