in front of ee cummings' home, perhaps a deep yell

by Tim J. Brennan
in front of ee cummings’ home, perhaps a deep yell
from Dylan Thomas’ tavern table, back in 1988, 
i stood duskly staring at his iron gate, the cul-de-sac
circular drive, the crumbling sidewalk)

it was really drama i was there studying with Howard
Stein, a nice man from Columbia who Jewishly believed) 

people do not really want happiness they just endure
until it is time.  so i just stood in front of the iron gate, locked,
and stared down his sidewalk, wondering what
time my time would let me know and even if i did

know perhaps i would yell and kiss girls i didn’t know;
let them wonder what kind of crazy bastard would do
something their menfriends had never thought of doing.

in front of ee cummings’ home, shades drawn, makes
a person think all kinds of thoughts: the girl walking 
away from me just then reminded me of the girl, soft hair
like a kitfox) i shared a swing with (back in wisconsin. 

i did not marry that girl but by god the girl who walked away
from me in front of ee cummings’ home sure could have been she)
perhaps i should have yelled her name (or perhaps i should have 

written about the way she walked) right then the same way
she walked away that night so long ago so many swings ago;

no) just other thoughts, standing in front of ee cummings’ home:
i remember the blandness of color, like indian grass, like a writer 
waiting in ambush with a line, a mark of punctuation) so subtle,
so silent that when read aloud it truly mattered) when on paper

more like a mosquito: unfelt, unseen, brushed away with 
the passing of a hand) like the thought of a girl walking, just
walking, like my thoughts standing in front of ee cummings’ iron
gated, shades drawn, cul-de-sac circular crumbling sidewalk.

i waited hoping, even dead, he might open the door, trod down the walk, 
clasp my hand and put parenthesis on either side of my breath); 
either that or invite me in for strong, black coffee.  i needed to ask
him about girls and swings and how long one needs to write 

before scar tissue forms on a thought; how many punctuation marks)
does a life really need before becoming a poem; how many capital letters
does one delete from his list of friends, from names of the past.

standing in front of ee cummings’ home perhaps a deep yell 
away before the girl disappeared, i knew i would never see her 
again and another thought crossed my mind,
a thought i’ve always about wondered 

what i really want to know is
                    how do you like your blueeyed boy 
                               Mister Death?

© 2007 by Tim J. Brennan. All rights reserved.

Tim J. Brennan writes in southeastern Minnesota. His poems have been published in The Elegant Thorn Review, Shampoo, The Rose and the Thorn, Main Channel Voices, and other nice places. His short plays have been produced in six states, most recently in NYC.