What Can Be Done

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What Can Be Done lies 

stupid-drunk and sprawled 

across my couch, a ghostly 

squatter in my house, 

watching my TV, drinking my beer. 

I hear him beeping endless 

numbers into my phone, 

sweet-talking giggling 

ghost-girls, while I 

rise to close the door, sink back into my chair, stuff 

cotton in my ears to better write 

one more love poem to you.


Poem #267 – and What Can Be Done 

is belly-laughing through the cotton, the door. The Fonz 

is thumping one more 

pop machine, the crowd goes wild, and I 

dream your heart sliding down 

that chute into my eager hands. This poem 

will be the one to finally shake 

your machinery, for sure. Happy Days. I push 

the cotton deeper, clutch my pen, scrawl 

Love, then Love, then 

Please, please, please... then pause 

to admire my perfect rhymes. What Can Be Done


has ordered pizza. The smell of olives, 

pepperoni, four piping-hot cheeses creep 

like apparitions under my door. I pinch 

my nose, breathe through clenched teeth, turn 

to a new blank page. Poem #268 - Your golden hair is fresh like... 

Oregano, basil, green fields 

of anchovies after a spring rain. What Can Be Done 

is throwing a party; dancing feet 

thunder through the floor beneath my shoes. I curl 

into a tight fetal ball, hover in mid-air, your poem 

clutched small and fierce against my chest. 

Poem #269 - Come fly with me... The door


flies open. What Can Be Done 

sambas in, a fat Huna king, cold beer 

scepters in each hand, grass skirt swaying 

beneath a tilted lampshade crown. I shrink 

into a fly, tap my futile poem in shaky 

Morse against the window. Poem #270 - If only I 

could be alone with you... The guests 

file in, two by two, their gossamer forms 

strangely fleshy as they sway, cavort, sneak off 

to make ghost-love in some dark 

corner of my house, while I 

finally find the words. Poem #271 - I have no life


without you... The music 

stops. The ghosts 

collect their things and mill about, 

worried faces eyeing clocks. What Can Be Done 

hulas fatly to my side, crouches down, sleights 

a tiny paper hat from behind 

my tinier fly ear, straps it to my head. Write 

this, he commands. Poem #272 - Dear Loser, I 

am having a party, and you 

are not invited. The ghosts 

snicker, snort, guffaw, then laugh 

out loud like breath-filled living beings. The music


has come alive from somewhere lost, and I 

am dancing. My human legs spring out to join 

a Bus Stop line of pink- 

faced girls, beautiful girls, Real 

Live Girls... Your poem 

lies forgotten on the sill – And you, 

neither forgotten nor forgiven, lie 

stupid-drunk and sprawled 

across some ghostly couch of memory, while I 

embrace What Can Be Done, surrender 

at last to the life of the party, 

the sweet, warm fat 

of friendship and time, 

those graceful human healers of all loves, all losses.



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