Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yogi, Poet Laureate of Baseball

At 83, icon of icons,
there you stand, Yogi,
your shadow smaller
and smaller
each time we see you.

Your clear-eyed twinkle
fills old Yankee Stadium
your presence,
your smile,
your catcher's squat stance.

O, Yogi, essence of our poets,
your word horde---
tho not deep,
is distinct, your voice unique,
rhythms just right.

We want one more line, Yogi.
We promise not to mangle
this one,
as we have done
over the years.

Your coy smile beguiles,
holds us fast. Laureate
to the end, speaking
on the occasion, echoing
yourself, I'm Sorry to See it Over.

(Appeared originally in The New Verse News,
September 24, 2008)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Widow's Funky Life

Widow Ragsdale's shanty,
---smells seeping from doors,
windows, roof, fake brick siding
---was a monster's nostrils spewing
steaming shit --rancid, mephitic,
Words for rotten fish, putrid out-
houses, rotting vegetables -- for
Miss Sukey, our mule who died
in a ravine --didn't fit the fetid
odor whirling from the Widow's.
Dad said the stink exceeded any vile,
noxious-to-the-nose, ferocious
fart by a country mile.
Widow Ragsdale, a village treasure---
ancient, endured without rancor
despite being a backslider,
whistled suggestively at males,
wore a halter top in August--
labored in her gardens, picking red
tomatoes to give away, deadheading
petunias days before her demise.
Even then some claimed a repulsive
stench rose in her dust, a haunting
Hawthorne hag causing blossoms
to wilt, contaminating nature.
After no Widow sighting for five
days, her house was stoned:
kids threw rocks on her tin roof,
town gossips pointed fingers,
tongues tattled. On the sixth day,
the Holiness preacher declared
God would forgive anyone who
rammed her door to bring out
the corpse.
The Widow was hauled away at midnight,
taken to a country cemetery, buried
without song or scripture, her shanty
torched, gardens plowed under, petunia
seeds sown by winds across the small
plot of the woman, once-treasured

Friday, September 12, 2008

If Hirsute Men are not Pretty

If hirsute men are not pretty, this world never was,
and pretty is a word meant only for babies. Maybe
the curvature of the chin covered with curly hair,
dimpled, even dappled when hair clusters around
the extended jaw of an aging gent, gives the arc
of the face its exquisite edge. Here is the hallowed
place men stroke as they muse about sports stats---
or a shapely ass--the space where red wine drops,
a crumb stops, is dabbed by an omniscient napkin.
Men have such pleasure as may be found in the
subtle feel of flesh covered with bristling follicles,
feisty feelings aroused in boys with puberty fuzz,
a buzz radiating from the touch of fingers to beard.
If hirsute men are not pretty, this world never was.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Writing by Earl in The Centrifugal Eye

Earl has poems, an essay, and an interview in The Centrifugal Eye, Summer, 2007. If you would like to see these items, here's the link to read more:


At some point in the future, Earl will reprint the poems from that issue which featured him and his writings.