Winter 2017 — THE POTOMAC

Two Poems

Dan Cuddy


Did A Little Nick and Nora Last Night

yes !
no ?

some friends you always enjoy visiting
but once or twice a year is enuff

and the older we get
the less we can cope with the steady flow of wine
started with chardonnay, then sauvignon blanc
then we went red


my wife dabbed into a little white
the sunlight still sparkled in her eyes
and she could drive

always good to have a temperate person
when drinking yourself somewhat sick

the trick is when to stop
eventually the world spins free of language
and the great dinners and drinks

remain in vague recall only
the taste buds left
are waiting down the hall
for a ride home

a little heavy-headed this morning
stomach a little——
too much information
to digest in a fake poem

this is a confession
not a poem
this is a way to wring myself dry in the sober sun
I'd rather lie in bed
and moan

a disgrace to adulthood
these hang hung over hic haec hoc hiccups

a little burp here a little burp there
Nick Charles
when he hasn't a clue
is not a role model



until the warden comes
turns the rusty lock
the cell gate
like a shower stall door
and I walk to the heavy man's office
he gives me back my keys to poetry
tells me I'm on parole
I sit despondent
questioning my every word
and the sentence

I hear the clanking of keys
I am taken to his office
a spider web is in one corner of the ceiling
he has no papers on his desk
one of those clean desk freaks
he looks at me paternally
sighs his fatherly God–like words
gives me a talk I don't hear
mostly I sit with downcast eyes
shift in my seat some
trying to settle into comfort
yes, I know "be good."
let your inner critic go
long enough to free imagination
and that crazy brain that goes off
on what other people call tangents

you sit and you remind yourself
you seem like that New Zealand poet
some years ago
but he was bi–polar
you are just singularly
an adult crowded out
inside your head by the inner child
you don't mind that
you like to play
the warden is all business
don't look in his eyes
he will know you have not reformed
even as old as you are
your inner child says
"that is pretty old"

and so here we are
a confession in front of me
the warden says "remember"
that word has a past and a future
I had signed this confession
but I didn't leave my middle name
I don't wholly subscribe
to what I say
the lawbreaker is too adolescent
to ever sign his middle name

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